I was a caregiver for my husband for 1 year at home. Now I am alone and 79 years old.

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I have to decide to live in my 4bedroom, 2 bath home with large yard and move to a new mobile home, less space and no yard work. So far I do not need a caregiver so I can make decisions. My house is paid for, and my husband left me money to live comfortably with my S.S. for a few years. All this is overwhelming. Any suggestions? I have 3 grown children, neither in a position to care for me. Where can I get answers to these matters? C.J.

4 Comments

If it were me, I would sell the big house ( less work at your age) and move into the new mobile home. They are quite nice these days.. and I know I would not want yard work and lots of house up keep at 79. If it is an elder lifestyle mobile home park, you may make lots of new friends and have more time to enjoy doing things you like. Put the money from the sale of the house into your retirement money, and it should go further than your ss alone. Plus then when you see your children, you can enjoy them, not have a chore list for them! Good luck!
Go talk to a CPA or a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). They will have good ideas for what strategies to take with your assetts and with your Power of Attorney.
Have you thought about a continuing care community? If you are able to get enough selling your home, you can invest it into moving into the community. It is like buying a space with them. You start out with independent living, then move to assisted living, and skilled nursing as needed. It may be perfect for you. Look into them and see if you can find one within your budget.
I'm very sorry for the loss of your husband. How long has he been gone? You mentioned that you were his caretaker for a year but when did he die ? I know with spring here and summer on it's way there is a lot of work to be done to maintain your home. How have you done it in the past? Do you have someone to help you? Does your home have a lot of deferred maintenance? Need a new roof. Furnace or AC problems. Does a new dishwasher seem like a big deal?
If you were to move, would lawn care be the primary reason? Do you have any health issues? Have you had a recent checkup? Make sure you are cognitively on point. If you think there is any chance that you are in too deep of grief to make clear decisions, wait awhile. Why is your only choice a Mobil home? Are you thinking of moving near one of your children? My concern is at 79 you are young but old enough to know that 90 is within sight. At 90, I would want to know that a walker or wheelchair could easily maneuver in and out the front door. You wouldn't want to have to move again because of too many steps. Do you have an attached garage now? Single story? At 79 I think you need to be asking yourself if you think you would want to age in place or be looking for independent living or assisted living in your future? If you know that you would need Medicaid should long term care be necessary, then you need to be very careful of how you spend your savings or any proceeds from the sale of your home. Medicaid doesn't allow gifting. If you sell your home and one of your children need a loan, you could be in a vulnerable situation. If you love your home and want to stay there, a Reverse mortgage might occur to you. Be sure to weigh the pros and cons before you go in that direction. There are many threads about RM on this site, mostly negative, but you can do a search and see what others have experienced. The really smart thing to do (to me) would be to visit a NAELA certified elder attorney that is well versed in Medicaid law for your state so that you can understand the ramifications of decisions you make today for your future.
Have you designated someone to be your medical and financial power of attorney? Do you have a will? A DNR? You could get all of that done with your attorney. When the first spouse dies it's usually a pretty simple process regarding inheritance. Usually Everything goes to the remaining spouse. When it comes to the second spouse, many items need attention that weren't an issue with the first spouse. Children don't always agree with one another on critical issues. New events within their own families cause one to be more in alignment with your choices than another. If you already have a POA and want to change it, now is the time. If yiu have soneone go with you to the attorney it will be helpful to have them to discuss your choices with. I'm sorry I've gone way off subject but 79 seems the perfect time to get things in order for your next stage of life and is a larger decision than lawn care. Again I'm sorry you have all this to decide without your husband. As you said you are well able to make your own decisions. Take care and let us know what you do decide. Of course I don't expect you to answer all these questions. Just things that occurred to me as I considered what I would do at 79 and I were in your situation.

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