I have a friend who is single, 70-year-old and still pays mortgage on the home he is living in. He lives alone. His home will be paid off in approximately 15 years but what happens if he falls ill and needs some care and cannot afford his mortgage any longer? He has no other assets, no Pension or 401k, just a very small social security check, and no family to assist him either with his financial situation nor his healthcare. He is all alone. Will he end up on the street like so many others?

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Tonygthetiger, lot of good advice from the previous two writers.

Another suggestion is if your friend lives in a large house, it might be time to downsize into something smaller, thus smaller mortgage payments, smaller homeowner's insurance, lower utility bills, etc.

Reading about your friend is an example why one needs to save for those rainy days. Live below your means, and be frugal. Social security isn't meant to help someone live like they did when employed. I know my SS check isn't worth squat, so I am glad I saved big time. We all should learn from this.

Your friend will not wind up on the street if he should become seriously ill and cannot afford his house. Luckily we have Medicaid [which is different from Medicare] to help those who find themselves needing help and a place to live when they can no longer afford to take care of themselves.
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Tony - so to him you are what.... a neighbor, friend, old coworker, old partner, member of his church? & would you want to be his DPOA?

Or is ? more abt what happens to those without family that can be DpOA. That ones imho a simpler answer..... if someone becomes incapacitated and are in hospital from an incident & social services (social worker) cannot find family or even former spouse, then APS is contacted and they will petition the court (usually probate court) for an emergency ward of the state for the person with a temporary guardianship appointed for the individual. Judge likely has a list of vetted guardians that they pull from. Guardian then takes over, paying for things from their income & selling or liquidating assets as needed. Guardian or court posts notices in paper as to this, which is a call out for family to step forward to show standing to be considered to be named permanent guardian. Read the legal notices in your paper, there’s likely to be postings on this once or twice a month. It’s fairly (& sadly) common. Guardian may have several “wards” the oversee.

70 is still young. There are folks on this site who are 70 and taking care of a parent late 80’s or in their 90’s. Your friend could live another decade or 2 and find himself with home paid off & mortgage free at age 89/90. If he’s competent & cognitive, it’s up to him to make decisions for who would be his dpoa. He could get DPOA, MPOA, will, etc. documents done by a elder law atty that names you; he could get the firm to have one of their attorneys to be it. He could place you as POD (pay on death) on his bank accounts & beneficiary of life insurance and brokerage accounts so if he should die, whatever is in accounts are yours (& outside of probate) for you use to settle his affairs as best you can.

Being 70 & having a Mortgage till 2035 is unusual but could make sense or maybe beyond scary. To me, terms of the mortgage are what’s really important. Where I am - New Orleans - lots of folks due to 2005 Katrina have 30 yr mortgages & have SBA as Mortgage lender with interest abt 2%-3% with no prepay penalty and easy removal of mortgage insurance premium. Really 2% or so, you can’t get $ cheaper unless you marry it or bury it. But it’s an uncommon situation.

So do you have any idea what his mortgage terms are and if he can afford his housing costs? I’d try to get that info to see how precarious his financial future might be. Is there something that is likely to be a crisis in the near future? Something that has you concerned for now?
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He can always sell the house if he falls ill and needs Assisted Living, right? Sounds like he's already accrued 15 yrs worth of equity if he originally had a 30 yr mortgage, so that's a nice nest egg right there. He should probably write a will appointing an executor and or POA making all of his wishes crystal clear NOW, while he's still healthy and lucid. A lawyer can help him draw something up.
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