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So, caring for my spouse; have my own health problems as well. He’s had cancer twice. Beat prostate cancer, now caught the early stage 1A lung cancer. We don’t have much resources, lived 15 years in south FL, where cost of living far outstripped our income. So, we are now senior citizens with health problems and limited income.


My youngest son just had major car wreck, only could afford liability insurance. He can’t work if he doesn’t have a car. Owes $4500 on the older, used vehicle. I could take savings and front him maybe $5 K, to get a used car, but he couldn’t pay me back, in payments, until he pays off the current note. Working poor. I get it. If I could afford to gift it to him, I would. But I cannot. We are struggling, looking at oxygen times two people, diabetes times two people, and a host of other medical problems. I need hip replacement.


So, in order to protect ourselves, if he has another year or so to pay off the totaled car, I might front him, interest free, enough money to get an older vehicle, so he can get to and from work. Working poor, he cannot get a loan. So coming to the Bank of Elderly Parents. I have no issue giving him money as a gift, if I had it to give. But I have to protect us financially. Who will take care of us? How to assist him, make it a formal financial agreement, that payments must begin in one year, after his current note is paid off. Ideas on how to set this up?


Thanks All! So sorry, this should be simple.

Welp. I'll just say it. He's an adult? Figure it out kid. Time to grow up and do it on your own. Sorry if that sounds harsh. But assuming he's healthy and able? He can walk, take a bike, public transportation. Again, figure it out. That's just what people do. Figure it out. Like you said Bank of Elderly Parents? Well, it closed. So, go somewhere else. I'm so sorry if this sounds mean. I DO NOT mean it that way at all.
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Reply to lynnm12
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People forget that not everyone lives near public transportation. With that said, I assume your son is at least 40. He needs to figure this out on his own. I know it hurts when you just can't afford to help your kids. I have a good paying job and am only 50 and I deal with that every day. Son will have to move close to where there is work and get a cheap apartment. He will have to have two jobs to try and get himself out of the hole. There is not an easy way out of this for him without hard work. But the work is his, not yours.
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Reply to lkdrymom
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worriedinCali Jan 13, 2019
No they don’t forget. People realize that times have changed and the bus & subway aren’t the only forms of public transportation. Lyft and Uber are everywhere and are affordable. Bicycles are another option. It’s not snowing in south Florida ;)
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As much as you want to do this, DON’T! If you your husband end up needing Medicaid/Nursing home in the next five years, who will pay the nursing home? My mom bought my niece a car, it hasn’t been five years & now she will be needing Medicaid & a nursing home this year. Is it fair to place this worry/burden on your other children? I am so angry at my mom for doing this, & she will probably end up in a very poorly ran facility that’s the “cheapest” we (or a social worker) can find.
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Reply to mollymoose
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Girlsaylor Jan 14, 2019
Thank you for sharing your practical experience. It helps to know what the consequences would be for us.
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There are many programs for poor people in the US. You can apply for and receive Government subsidized housing, community Medicaid, and food stamps.

Each county should have a Department of Aging that I encourage you to call and explore the resources available for you.

Has your husband applied for State disability? You can apply on line as you have access to a computer. With his cancer he may be eligible for this. Or even SSDI.

Or if you both worked and are 62 you can collect early Social Security (I believe it’s 71% of total benefits then you’d receive@ full retirement) & be eligible for Medicare. Do you both work?

Please explore your options. They are out there.

I would not lend that money to you son for sure.
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Reply to Shane1124
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I also agree to not give/loan him money.
If you are seniors, do you have Medicare? They will pay 80% of the costs and you may be able to sign up with Medicaid to cover the rest. Speak to your Human Services Department.
The other poster is right, you can NOT gift or loan the money you have if you are trying to qualify for Medicaid (government sponsored low income health insurance on ability to pay.) They will be looking at how much money you have and what you've spent it on.

At this point in your life you MUST think about your needs. You have no one to bail YOU out. Then what?

I understand wanting to help your son.
How about paying for a month of Uber rides? That way, at least you feel like you've DONE something for him.
*Does he have any brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, coworkers, etc. he could ask for a personal loan?
*Can he get a cash advance at his job or on his credit card?
*Does he have anything of value he could sell (collections of stuff, gold necklaces)?
*Can he get another part time job or get more overtime at his current job?
*Can he move back home (with you) to save money? Or give up his apartment/house and just rent a room in someone else's house (for cheaper rent)?
*(Way out suggestion) Can he file for bankruptcy to clear his debts?

I'm sorry this is happening but everyone has to watch out for themselves. If you need money for medical issues, to ME, that trumps helping your son get a car.

Good luck to you all.
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Reply to SueC1957
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Girlsaylor, I do fully understand your wanting to help your son and I don't take issue with that in principle. But when you strip away the family relationship and focus on the money, what you're asking is how you make certain of repayments of an unsecured loan - and there's the rub. Your son has no security to offer to you or any other lender; and twelve months down the line, should it then prove impossible for him to begin making payments, what is anyone going to do about it? It is precisely because there is no protection that unsecured finance is so expensive.

I guess but I do not know that Medicaid might treat a formal loan agreement differently from a gift - would the repayments be treated as income, maybe? In any case, this certainly is a point you'll need clarified.

To whom does he owe the $4,500?

Does he need the car for his job, or just to get to and from work? If it's the first, maybe his employer can help; if it's the second, the Uber idea is a great piece of lateral thinking, or else he can turn to co-workers, public transport - bicycle??? - or move closer to his job (I don't think anyone was suggesting that *you* should move, were they?). What options is he actively looking at?

If I have any sense of irritation, it's because he's asking you for help when he must surely know you're not in a position to help. Okay, I'd better admit it: he also totalled a car he owed $4.5K on and since no other insured driver is paying the costs you have to ask - whose fault was that, then? First response must be relief that he didn't hurt himself, but from there...

In the end, this is his problem to solve and not yours. Being sympathetic and supportive does not make you *able* to rescue him from a fix he's got himself into.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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bottom line is you can not afford to loan or give him money.
So..Do not loan or give him money. Even if you found 5K between the couch cushions you still can not afford to loan or give him money. You would need that found money for yourselves.
The other thing you should do is begin application for Medicaid for both you and your husband. This is one of the reasons not to give or loan any money. They will look at any money given or loaned and it may effect the application.
Another thing you can do is determine if either of you is eligible for Hospice. Hospice can help a lot with supplies, equipment and other help.
Are either of you Veterans? If so contact the VA to determine if they can help with a variety of things Supplies, equipment, medications....

Your job was to raise your children and send them out on their own. He needs to learn to figure things out on his own. The more you help the less vested he will be in digging his way out of the trouble he is in.
Stay strong, and if you have to, practice in front of a mirror and make that stern look that you used to use and say the word NO. Now you have to mean it so keep practicing!
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Reply to Grandma1954
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I agree, he has to work it out for himself. You just don't have it and he needs to understand that. Hopefully someone at work can give him a ride.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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What is this “working poor” label? Is it working pay check to pay check? If’s that’s the case you’re in pretty good company as many of us here are probably in the same boat.

As stated below, your son can take Uber to & from work. The rates are affordable.

Does he have a good credit rating? If so he can apply for and get his own loan. I thought if you had a loan on a vehicle (like your son’s wrecked car with the note) you had to have collision insurance if it was bank owned but could be wrong.

It would be nice if you could loan him the money but you just can’t. Oxygen is expensive, as are diabetic supplies. And health care premiums, etc.

Let him find a way out. You and hubby may need that money sooner rather than later.
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Reply to Shane1124
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worriedinCali Jan 14, 2019
yes Full coverage insurance is required if the car is financed. But a lot of people have liability-only which doesn’t usually include collision insurance, because it’s a little cheaper.
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Does your son have a disability or another similar issue that I overlooked in reading your post? If not, I have to wonder why he is coming to his ill, disabled parents for money. Have you accidentally encouraged him to do this? If so, stop immediately, for HIS OWN GOOD. He is a grown man and needs to stand on his own.

I hope I don't sound harsh but human nature being what it is, it is all too easy to try to get other people to save us from ourselves. I know I have. Don't enable your son. Pay him the compliment of treating him as an adult, an equal.
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