me: 53, had 30-yr freelance career on the road in media industry, never married, no kids, financially diligent over the yrs; brother: 48, has kept steady gigs for yrs, married over 15 yrs, 2 pre-teens, lives paychk-to-paychk, recently disclosed a longtime gambling addiction, his wife had to tk control of their finances recently because he even tapped the kids' college fund.
mom: 82, recent cancer diagnosis, ok prognosis, but will need treatments for years to come (we have been taking her weekly for the past month, shes responding well), dementia, starting to hv memory issues, mobile but can't live alone safely, not social, no financial knowledge whatsoever. dad: deceased 3 yrs ago, he was 89, he handled all money and home upkeep thru their 53 yrs of marriage, ignored mom's hoarding as long as her stuff didn't comingle with his lean military lifestyle on a separate floor of the house.
NOW: parents convinced me to move bk into the house 'for a year' while readjusting to hometown, which i moved bk to make sure they were ok in their 80s and to change work style from road to more settled. that was 5 years ago and i'm still here! dad's health was failing, and all were in denial, so i jumped in to be his medical advocate and caregiver, he got a staph infection after a surgery, and passed away within 2 yrs of me being bk home. mom tried to handle bills etc after that, but just didn't 'get' how all that works, so even tho our $ was and is separate, i just started paying for stuff out of my life savings. i live with her in her 3-story rowhouse, a third of which is all her hoarded paperwork from teaching and old magazines, as my ready-to-go lean apartment life sits in waiting at a local storage facility. we just got around to convincing mom to do a simple will, her assets will be split 50-50 me and bro, and i am financial poa, bro is medical. here's the rub - when she first got bk from hospital, her meds made her almost comatose, so I was thrown into hands-on caregiving first time, around the clock, incontinence and all - wow. she's better now, but i still help her get dressed, cook all meals, keep up the house, etc can't leave her alone, and bro can only relieve me on saturdays, and that time goes to grocery shopping and a solid gym workout.
I am now on the second parent as a caregiver and am trying to keep burnout and resentment in check, but i live very comfortably here and have low expenses. however, i need to get things started so i manage her care more than provide it, especially thinking long term, seeing as her needs will only increase. i also need to get back to work, so as not to jeopardize my retirement and have a life outside of the house, even just part time, but any work i get will not be traditional office work 9-5, more like filming or covering events to write about. mom gets SS and teacher pension and has ira and inherited dad's savings of about 300k. i have saved over 200k, but very little of that is in retirement funds. i would actually be ok continuing to live with her for the rest of her life, as she does not want to do assisted living. i think that could work but maybe in a retirement community, definitely in a smaller house, with more separation of bedrooms, an office for me, etc, and outside help would have to be hired to come in daily and help her in the home 'dayshift', and some overnights if i would be away on assignment, then we adjust adding more services over the years, etc. this is just now unfolding, and i am trying to think ahead and be proactive. i am flexible and feel confident i will fully get my life back eventually, but i need BALANCE moving forward. any ideas on how to make sure mom is taken care of, without sacrificing my future, and realistically doing it with no help from my well-meaning (but non-factor) brother? thanks for any advice!