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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: FLA on August 01, 2015, 04:37:58 PM

Title: a question if this is the right forum for me, long, sorry
Post by: FLA on August 01, 2015, 04:37:58 PM
I completely out the blue got diagnosed with 2 serious things that have left me disabled, most likely permanently. I was a nurse for 23 years, I am divorced, 45, two teens, one graduated. I currently have no income as company's LTD is taking forever to be approved or disapproved, already received max STD from work and a private policy. I have a lawyer to help me get SSDI, that can take 2 yrs.  So with LTD up in the air, it's hard to make a financial plan. My lawyer for SSDI and two lawyer friends said my LTD policy is junk, don't get my hopes up, plan on a lawyer if denied. I know I will likely be rejected on the first go 'round of SSDI, I got the best lawyer I could after asking all the lawyers and docs I know, I love her.  She also said my one doc documents so well, she has never lost a case of his ever.  I do know people get rejected all the time for SSDI, but am told in the end this is highly unlikely, I actually have 4 qualifying diagnoses. So I am not counting on the LTD, even with a lawyer.  But even if it takes forever, I am counting on one day getting SSDI.  maybe this is foolhardy?

2 yrs ago, thank God, I downsized from a town house that was already too big when I had kids living there, despite being low cost, I did not want that much space once the kids were off to college. One day, my dad and I were talking about my terminally ill mom, how their house was not handicapped accessible and this was proving to be more of a problem.  I said how it would be easier for me to help (I was a hospice nurse) if I lived closer. Somehow, the next day we were looking at a handicapped new construction home that the deal had fallen through.  Perfect.  We looked at a few more, bought this the next day.  The bed rooms are on the opposite sides of the house, really there have been no privacy issues, etc.  I no longer had a mortgage so could save even more. Then I got sick, I fall all the time, my dad picks me up.  Had I been alone in a 3 story town house, having to go from the very top to the bottom multiple times a day to let the dogs out, well, I would've had a major head injury by now. My poor dad ended up with 2 people to care for, so far we're ok.  I'm realizing I need more medical assistive devices than a cane and plan to order on Mon.  With more safety things in place, I should need him a lot less. But he still drives me to tons of MD appts. ugh

I can emotionally support my mom but that's about it.  One of my problems is in my brain, I get very confused, all of July has been january to me, anyone who says otherwise I think is an idiot. I have worn winter clothes all summer, but part of that is logical because I also have this rare autonomic disorder that makes your pulse dangerously high and blood pressure very low.  The stupid pulse pills lower the BP even more, no one can even hear it anymore.  So having no BP,  I am always cold, so winter sweatshirts are working out, lmao.  My dad had to hide my coat, hats, gloves and boots to keep me from looking like a total lunatic when out of the house.  but it comes and goes, like today I'm good, I understand it's July or August, Saturday and right now, I understand am and pm, all things I often have a tenuous grasp on.

Anyway, my point about that is, I can't even help with things like filling her pill bottles and ordering refills because I am barely able to do that for myself.  I can't help her bathe or get dressed because if I bend, I face plant.  So incredibly frustrating to be a hospice nurse who cannot do her thing. And she needs hospice, she is in horrific pain, cannot breathe, pretty much can only walk to her bathroom. But not ready. 

Here is my question, finally, can people here give comments on my financial plan once I know what that will be, even though I am not FIRE or however you put that?  Because I am in a way retired, just suddenly and not by choice.  I have approx 500k in retirement accounts, a 30k pension, I have 20k in an EF for Cobra, co-pays, meds. Should I get LTD, I would get 60% of my income (I was making around 57k) until SSDI starts and then in the small print, i found out once you get your SSDI back settlement, you have to give a certain amt back to the LTD company.  I have to get the exact number.  LTD is supposed to supplement SSDI until I am 65, I have been told they never pay this out, so not considering it as part of the plan.  SSDI should be between $1800-1900 a month.  I qualify now for SNAP but figure I better wait in case LTD pulls through and I'm over income.  Once on SSDI, I believe I will qualify for SNAP.  I neither give or receive child support.  I am supposed to pay half of the cost of a state school for 4 yrs for each kid.  My lawyer says that will be re-negotiated, likely no college payments due to low income, apparently I am allowed to not touch my retirement assets to pay their college, thank God.  I feel horrible about this but if I have to pay for college in any significant way, I will be doomed.

I have no debt, I charge everything for points but pay bill in full every month. I do not buy pretty much anything right now, luckily there is little I need since I was established before getting sick.  So my CC bill is around $600 (that includes phone and cable bundle).  Besides the medical expenses, I pay $64 for a phone (probably too much, I get a 24% employee discount that they will honor still as long as I don't leave and try to come back and get it, I can probably drop features to lower the cost), I pay way too much for cable, internet and landline, but my dad loves the premium channels, I cannot take them away from him after all he is doing for me, I keep calling to negotiate the bill lower.  I am supposed to split taxes, food, they do utilities since I do cable, half of the world's cheapest cleaning lady who has become my mom's close friend so she is here all the time, I just keep trying to throw more money at her, lol. I'm sure there's more.  But my father has been refusing to take my share of split costs, that was not the way this very man raised me, you do not become dependent on others, keep debt (only debt is car and house) as low as possible, etc.  So this upsets me immensely, I feel so guilty even though he says, "I did not mean if you got sick and needed a helping hand for a while".  That's my basic situation, I've tried to think of anything that would help make it clear.

Once I have a clearer financial picture, can I post a plan and my investments and all that even though it's for a disability, not retirement?  I did talk to the 403b rep and Vanguard and pension, I can take so much per month with no penalty, they estimated I should have enough to have a small income but livable without touching the principle ever.  But I got those numbers when this first went down 11 months ago and I was panicked.  I need to do all that again. 

to anyone who made it through this hot mess, I thank you.  If this forum is totally geared to incredibly early retirement and posting because of becoming disabled is not kosher, please just let me know
Title: Re: a question if this is the right forum for me, long, sorry
Post by: Gin1984 on August 01, 2015, 05:09:17 PM
Get food stamps, don't wait.  That will help you some until you get SSDI or your long term disability.
Title: Re: a question if this is the right forum for me, long, sorry
Post by: MDM on August 01, 2015, 05:13:48 PM
FLA, don't know how good advice from here will be but there are certainly no "requirements" for a case study. 

Do see for suggestions on how to present your information in ways most likely to cause helpful responses.
Title: Re: a question if this is the right forum for me, long, sorry
Post by: forummm on August 01, 2015, 05:23:23 PM
Everyone is welcome here.
Title: Re: a question if this is the right forum for me, long, sorry
Post by: LeRainDrop on August 01, 2015, 05:48:23 PM
Get food stamps, don't wait.  That will help you some until you get SSDI or your long term disability.

I agree.  Apply for SNAP benefits right away.  You have spent many working years paying into the system, and now you are in need and deserving of having that sliver paid back to you.

I certainly can't pretend to understand everything you are going through, but the way I see it, you should accept the help your father is willing to offer you.  You have spent many years providing for your family.  Developing these disabilities is beyond your control.  Please don't feel badly about accepting the help you need.
Title: Re: a question if this is the right forum for me, long, sorry
Post by: marty998 on August 01, 2015, 05:54:31 PM
Everyone is welcome here.

+1, if anything we are going to be more supportive (in our own way) than most other corners of the inter webs.

I'm not really that good in advising/helping in these situations but something has come to mind.

Could you make a list of everything you can do. I see so much change in attitude in people who start focussing on what they can do, instead of getting caught up in what they think they can no longer do.

It's still important to recognise limitations when it comes to your own safety (e.g. don't drive when you feel your headspace is not right), but don't ever let it stop you from pushing the boundaries of what you feel you can do.
Title: Re: a question if this is the right forum for me, long, sorry
Post by: Cpa Cat on August 01, 2015, 06:21:58 PM
1. I think this could be the right place for you, because it's a forum that's focused on reducing expenses, regardless of income.

2. Accept your father's help, at least for now. Like he said - he didn't mean if you became sick and needed help. Our parents don't want us to be slackers, sure - but they also want to help us. Your father wants to help you, and you need help right now.

3. Once SSDI comes through and you know how much that is, you can add the safe withdrawal from your retirement funds and you'll see where your income is. It may be that you are living simply enough that you'll have some left over to help your father with bills. At that point, you can tell him with concrete numbers that you're doing ok financially and can afford to contribute to the household.

Sorry to hear about your health and your mother's health.
Title: Re: a question if this is the right forum for me, long, sorry
Post by: FLA on August 01, 2015, 06:35:32 PM
Thank you so much, you are very kind

I really can't wait to have my numbers, you seem to have helped many people

SNAP on Monday!  I may have said this (sorry, poor memory), on Monday I am talking to my nurse and PT friends and brainstorm what medical equipment will help the most and I will stop refusing to use it