Ask a Question

My mom needs financial help for assisted living but my husband and I want to retire

My mother needs financial help with her assisted living costs due to unfortunate choices she and my father made (even though I asked them to look at other options) and it has fallen on my shoulders to help her substantially. If I had a solid pension and never had to worry about money for my retirement years, I'd give her the moon. But my husband wants us to have the retirement we've always dreamed of that allows us to travel while we are healthy enough to enjoy it. I don't think I can do both, and I'm starting to resent both my mother and my husband because of my stress over this issue. My husband should come first in my life, but I can't abandon my mother. She has too much income by poverty standards, but not nearly enough to cover her care expenses, even with the facility trying to reduce her bill as much as possible.
Status: Open    Jan 13, 2015 - 02:54 PM

Relationships, Finance

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

6 answers

Expert Answers

Mar 31, 2015 - 11:27 AM

Don't forget if she is the surviving spouse of a war time veteran (or a war time verteran herself!), there may be as much as $1,149 to help her pay for her assisted living as a surviving spouse.



Dec 01, 2015 - 03:10 PM

Your situation is so stressful and frustrating. If your mother has a life insurance policy and you are the beneficiary, you may decide that the policy value would be more worthwhile to use now. There is something called a Life Settlement in which an institutional buyer such as a bank, hedge fund, pension plan, or insurance company will pay a lump sum of cash that can be 4-5 times the cash surrender value (what the insurance company would pay) but less than the death benefit. The money could be used to pay for lifecare in the assisted living facility. It's a big decision for you, if a policy exists and if it would be appropriate. It can be a term, whole life, or universal life with a minimum face value of $50,000. A licensed Life Settlement broker handles the transaction which can take anywhere from 3-6 months.

Voted Best Answer

Dec 08, 2015 - 08:40 AM

Not sure what state you live in but my husband and I just faced this situation in placing his mom in a skilled nursing facility. Thankfully it's a very nice, clean and well run facility that accepts Medicaid patients. We went to court to obtain guardianship and conservatorship, enabling us to use all her resources for her care. We had to spend down her savings for approved expenses before Medicaid takes over. The facility takes her social security and retirement as payment and Medicaid picks up everything else. We don't have to pay anything from our own funds nor are we obligated legally. Medicaid will take the house at some point but she's never going back anyway. We will eventually sell it and that money will go to the facility. It's costing 5,000 per month private pay but because of Medicare she's only responsible for 1,000, which is her social security and retirement income. I feel your stress and wish the best for you but you can have it both ways if you find the right facility.
Comments (1) | New Comment

By vikki15 on Sep 05, 2016 - 10:47 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

You may need to look at a Miller trust if Medicaid for skilled nursing could become an option. Check with an eldercare attorney or at least an estate planner to see what might be possible. Assisted living per se is usually private pay - I take it there re no other assets she can sell to pay for care or a home that could be reverse mortgaged? It is not fair to you at all.

Add New Comment


Jan 18, 2015 - 02:19 PM

First I am sorry you have been placed in a type of "Sophie's Choice" either way someone will come out losing. It sounds like your mother has either income or property so she would not be eligible for Medi-cal. She will need to liquidate her assists and come to the realization that she can no longer stay at home but stay at a skilled nursing home. The other Choice is you pay for her home care and leave you in a precarious situation when you are her age. So the question is do you sacrifice your next 10-20 years for her last 5-10 years.

Just a suggestion because you have very little details concerning her financial worth-but have you thought of placing help wanted signs in hospital employee lounges? You pay half the amount hourly than a registry and these people have been already vetted by the hospital.
Best of luck to you- this is not a country that cares for their elderly that is a fact.

Feb 01, 2015 - 12:12 AM

I am in the same position. I've decided that she should sell her house since she is already living with me and use the money to hire in home 24 hr care (somebody she already likes) that can stay with her when we take a vacation. As long as her money is going toward keeping her out of a nursing home they cannot come after her money that's left when it's all done and it may even be all used up by then anyway. In the long term she uses her money and you save yours. Hope this suggestion helps you. This is of course if she has a home to sell.

Remind your husband that so many get Alz now that you or him can end up in the same position and make him read books on how to interact and be a caregiver. Get him VERY VERY involved in day to day help with your mom like bringing her plate of food to her, do sit down leg and arm exercises with her. The MORE interaction HE has with your Mother the more he will know he can't turn his back on her. Something I've had my husband do it rub lotion on her feet every night after bath or even if she hasn't had one. The more he physically touches her the better.

I intend to keep my mother with us until the end. If she's in good physical health she can travel too. I take my Mother back and forth to the Bahamas because she loves the condo on the beach that my husband rented while he is working there.

If you have a strong marriage tell him you have to take care of her cause you can't deal with how you would feel if you didn't after she dies. The more he sees all that you do, the more he will admire you and support you.

Nov 29, 2015 - 07:20 PM

I find that placing needs ahead of wants allows me to never feel guilty. I understand WANTING to retire to a life of travel and enjoyment. Parents sacrifice for basically 2 decades to raise children. I have always believed that my parents earned my care for them when they got old, by raising my sisters and me for 30 years. They never once took a vacation, but visiting grandmoter during the summer every year was the only vacation we ever had, while growing up. By the time the youngest was grown, they were not able to travel well, due to physical limitations. They gave up their best years, when they could have enjoyed traveling, to raise a family and work to be able to support us. I wouldn't dream of NOTputting THEIR NEEDS first, when I am the one able to work and provide to help them, after all they did for us. Our generation has been able to earn and save more than previous generations, and sharing with my parents is a blessing and privilege.
Answer this question

Recently Active Members