Author Topic: Planning ahead for unpredictable family  (Read 2758 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Planning ahead for unpredictable family
« on: January 26, 2016, 01:01:22 AM »
Ha-ha planning ahead I shouldn't start this post so late in the evening. Oh well.

So I'm well on the way to FI myself but there's a nagging problem in the background. My parents, though well-off and healthy, do not have long-term care insurance. My younger brother is not well off or healthy, and is not fully competent. My parents have set up a managed trust for him, but, if all their money is exhausted on caring for themselves, he will become my responsibility after their passing.
How much money should I save to protect my FI from these possibilities?
A little more background...
Though my brother prefers the idea, I really don't want him to live with me. Like no, never, not even between things, just no. I think he might do OK in a group home type of environment, and maybe assisted living later in life. Not that I could probably force him to do that even if I'm holding the purse strings.
I'm so grateful that my parents have set up a trust for my brother's care. I imagine i will have to manage it in some capacity, which might cause even more friction between him and me. All the same, they are so awesome for seeing the reality of his disability and providing for him.
But... My dad, the calculated gambler, has decided that he and my mom are not going to need long term care. If he's wrong, then, no more trust. If he's really wrong, then, after their money is gone, I'll probably be spending on their care too.
If there's any left, well, I could give a fig if my folks leave me any money, as long as my brother is provided for.
I just have no idea how to plan financially for the worst case scenario here. If I wait to RE till I have the safest pile of money, then I never need it- well damn I'd rather have those years of work back. I have no heirs so that's not a reason for me to have a bigger pile of dough. It's only for the worst case scenario.
Any of you looking at this in your life? How are you approaching the unknowns?

Cornbread OMalley

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Re: Planning ahead for unpredictable family
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2016, 01:19:07 AM »
Green_Thing, I just finished a conference call with my siblings a few hours ago concerning long-term care for our parents, and I understand your concerns.  My siblings and I argued with eachother, but in the end we came to consensus to foot the bill for our parents for at least the next eight years.  We are now discussing the minutiae of the finer details of the policy itself.

How old are your parents?  How large is the trust that your parents established for your brother?  Does your brother intend on staying in an area with more affordable long-term care costs?


  • Stubble
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Re: Planning ahead for unpredictable family
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 01:25:39 AM »
How old are your parents? Does your brother live with them? Is your brother on ssdi? What country/state?

former player

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Re: Planning ahead for unpredictable family
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 02:22:02 AM »
Maybe talk to your parents about this?  They will be difficult conversations - much easier to ask an internet forum for the answers.

You've got two separate issues.  The first is how well funded the trust for your brother is at the moment, whether more money is going into it, whether those assets are ring-fenced and who is going to manage it once your parents are no longer able to do it.   Is there enough money for the lifetime housing and personal support he will need to be paid for?

The second is care for your parents should they need it.  They may not: depending on family history and healthy habits they may stay at home until they die, needing relatively minimal support and/or affordable levels of care: in the last 13 months I've lost 3 relatives and friends in their 90s and 100s to whom this happened.  If one or other or both needs expensive care for a long time, there are two problems.  The first is that the money spent on the first of them to need care may leave the other one poor in their own old age.  The second is that the money available for either the first or second, or both, runs out and leaves them dependent for care on family or state.   In either of these situations the issue for you is what the expectations on you might be and how prepared you are to meet them.   Would you have either or both parents living with you?  Would you be able and willing to provide care to them either in their own home or yours?  Would you be willing or able to pay for someone else to care for them?  Would they accept help from you if you offered it?  Are you prepared to oversee the care they get in a home or from the state to ensure that it keeps them decently looked after if they can't do that for themselves? These are not just financial questions but go deep into personal capabilities, personal choices and family dynamics.   Only you and your parents will know the answers, and the answers now may not be the answers in 10 or 20 years.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Planning ahead for unpredictable family
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2016, 05:26:42 AM »
If it where up to me I would calculate that in the worst case I could still scale back my living expenses to remain FI. As you don't have kids, you could go pretty low. Maybe you could arrange a place for your brother that is close by, so while you're not living with him, you could help him live there instead of requiring expensive professional care.


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Re: Planning ahead for unpredictable family
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2016, 08:20:07 AM »
How much are the long-term care premiums?  Is it cost-effective for you to just pay them?


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Planning ahead for unpredictable family
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2016, 10:12:21 AM »
I would assume that you may need to help your brother in a temporary fashion while helping him apply for SSDI. 

I would assume that if your parents outlive their money, they will qualify for a medicaid nursing home.

I would not leap to assuming you need to support 3 other people indefinitely. 


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Planning ahead for unpredictable family
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2016, 11:00:22 AM »
Could you get a life insurance of some sort on your parents? That was if all the money is gone, the insurance money can provide for your brother. That is assuming your parents don't run out of money first.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Planning ahead for unpredictable family
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2016, 09:08:57 PM »
Wow, great thoughts. Again not planning ahead I was offline for a couple days. :-)
As far as life insurance or long term care insurance... I'm with my dad and MMM in the calculated gambling approach. What is the worst that could happen if all goes wildly sideways? My parents would be on Medicaid, which would make me really sad. My brother is already on SSDI, and maybe his income/ lifestyle couldn't be subsidized by an inheritance or a sibling. So. World not ending. Likelihood of the worst? Probably not high enough to justify the various insurance premiums. Long term care insurance costs a ton, especially for folks who are already older.

 I don't want to see either of those things happen.

Former Player I think you're right I will have to have the hard conversations with them. I will look up ring-fenced and see what that is... Sounds interesting.  I'm not close with my family, which makes the hard conversations even more awkward. And I live on the other side of the country. On the plus side my brother is there and living with them off and on, and he seems willing to do hands on care with them. To the extent that he is able.
Yay family.