Stop kicking the can down the road!!

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Older people need to make decisions earlier in life and stop kicking the can down the road. Do it before your family has to step in and become the bad guy and make those decisions for you. Sit down with the people in your Durable POA, Medical POA, Will and Living Trust. If you don't have these get them! What are you waiting for? Talk to them and move closer to them so they can help you. Clean out your houses, sheds, garages, attics, basements and storage facilities. Purge all of that stuff you think your kids or whom ever wants. Get rid of it now while you can decide what to do with it. Don't place that burden on your kids like my father did! Stop kicking the can down the road and get off your butts while you still have the presence of mind to take care of it. Do it now!

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I was very lucky. My Mom had all her affairs in order. She set the example and I plan on following it. I hope I still have my wits about me when the time comes.
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I agree! I wish my parents considered doing this 10 years ago before we had to do it all for them in a span of several very very stressful months.
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I was lucky, I guess. My parents made up wills years ago. You get mine I get yours type of thing. When Dad died Mom and I went to a lawyer and had a new will made up with me as executor because I am the one here. Also got POAs in place. Had already told Mom to put alk her important papers in one place for me, which she did. I took over her bills when she asked. So, I already knew how she stood financially before the AL and NH was needed. The only I wish, and its hind sight, is when Dad died she had sold the house and moved into an apartment. Now I have a old farm house I have had to clean out, I can't sell and becausevof Medicaid will be lost. Why, once Mom was in spend down no upkeep, taxes or utilities or insurance can be taken out of her money. I live in NJ. Taxes are high and there is no guarentee I will get my money back. So, the house will eventually be abandoned. It may have sol 10 yrs ago. She could have used the sale monies to offset what her SS and pension didn't cover. All we would have done was clean out an apartment and that would have been it. I m retired but there are others who work and just don't have the time.
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Amen
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No one is going to be able to pay for 10 to 15 years of care. We just don't make enough. But we can be as helpful as we can be to those who will help us. Get documents (POA, wills, etc) in order. Make plans for age decline - such as move or get in help as we need more help. Make sure our kids know where the financial folder is and who the financial advisor is. Have insurance updated. pre-plan and pre-pay for funerals. All the stuff we hear on this site that frustrates the h*ll out of us. My great annoyance is that my parents/IL's won't share information with us, don't make plans for aging, and just expect/demand that we will do those things they don't want to / can no longer do. Beck and call to step and fetch.
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I'm all for getting legal documents in order (I'll get around to it soon, honest) but I have to ask, is it even possible for those of us in our late 50's and older to set aside enough money to pay for 10, 15 or more years of care, especially those in the lower wage bracket? And should I be living like a pauper and doing without today in order to finance the possibility of a long life and physical decline, or should I make the most of life while I am still able?
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I would add - don't just plan for your retirement, plan for the day you will experience age related decline. What should your living arrangements be when you can't walk? Struggle with ADL? My grandmothers moved to senior living then to assisted living then to nursing home. my parents and my IL's on the other hand, have had 10-15 years of living the high life on retirement and their plan "to age in place" is "the kids will do it". all house work, all yard work, all laundry, all grocery shipping and doctor visit driving, all running to the pharmacy - then anger and browbeating when we just cannot do it all. Shame on them!
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BlackHole, why didn't couldn't you and your sibs pick out anything you wanted to keep, and then have an auction house or estate sale business come in and deal with the rest? (Not documents, of course, but all the material stuff.) This is what I have advised my kids to do (assuming I don't get everything downsized before I die.) So I am serious in wondering what the drawback to this plan is.
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Dear testdepth,

Thank you for this reminder. It is a very good advice. I tried to help both my parents with all of this. But to be honest, it is hard. All the cleaning up and decluttering was hard on them. It look them a lifetime to accumulate everything and it wasn't easy to part with. Hearing others stories does help to know that we cannot delay.
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testdepth, sometimes we need to use "therapeutic fibs" to get our aging parents to do things. When I found my parents Power of Attorney and Will, these documents were older than dirt. So to get my parents into seeing an Elder Law Attorney wasn't easy until I told my Dad a therapeutic fib.... told him that their Wills were very old and the way they were written the State would get half the estate. IT WORKED !! I was able to get them appointment with the Attorney.

What a relief to have updated legal documents since my parents were in their mid-to-late 90's. Better late then never, but I was cutting it very close, couple months later my Mom had a very serious fall and spent the last 3 months of her life in long-term-care.... [sigh]

Once my folks passed, I am still going through old paper work. My Dad use to keep every financial document regarding stock. His broker has all the paperwork, so no need to keep stuff from the 1940's, just the last year or two until Probate signs off. Did a ton of shredding. Next are my parents income tax forms from the last 70 years !! Will keep the past 7 years, even though their CPA has those on file.

Boy, I learned from all of the above. Now downsizing isn't all that easy once someone gets to my age, early 70. The energy just isn't there. I do throw out stuff or donate, but it feels like it returns back to its place in the middle of the night :P
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