Author Topic: Reader Case Study: (Edit: Our Twins are Here Now!) and I Have Brain Cancer  (Read 29238 times)

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Before I start, let me just apologize if this is too much information.  I just wanted to put everything out there and let you guys decide what was relevant.

Itís been a crazy year or so and Iíve realized now that I need to get my house in order.  Let me start this off by saying that I have no plans for early retirement, itís just not in the cards.  So please take that into consideration when commenting.  Iím really just looking to maximize what Iím able to save and cut my expenses as much as possible due to my circumstances.

I was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer in November 2013.  I went through radiation and chemo at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC and was told that the best result I could hope for was just to stop the tumor from growing anymore.  I was also told that there wasnít anything I could be doing myself to fight this.   My wife and I just didnít believe that there was nothing we could do ourselves, so we started researching like crazy people and it turns out there are some ďunprovenĒ things people are doing, one of which is dietary.  I wonít get into the details of why but I eat organic, gluten free, dairy free, and only eat things with no added sugar/sweetened with low glyceimic sweeteners like agave and stevia.  My tumor has shrunk by about 50% in the past year so Iím going to stick with it since they basically told me it couldnít shrink and there was nothing I could be doing.  For those don't know much about brain cancer (I didn't before November 2013) - there isn't a cure and it doesn't have a great prognosis.  My form thankfully isn't very aggressive but there are some more aggressive forms like GBM which only have a median survival of 14 months.  The doctors don't know how long I have and have theorized anywhere from a few years to 30.  So that makes it very hard to plan for the future...

We also got the first bit of good news that we had in awhile when we found out that my wife was pregnant a few months ago.  I couldnít be more excited but the fact that weíre having twins is naturally giving me some concerns financially.  See the thread I posted recently (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/i-have-twins-on-the-way-any-recommendations-to-keep-the-cost-down/msg529500/#msg529500) on that if you have any tips to share.  My wife's mother also lives in Manhattan and is going to be helping out with childcare, so we want to stay in the city to be close to her.  Also, our apartment right now is rent stabilized and probably close to half of market rate.  It will be tough but we can get by here for 2-3 years but once the twins get bigger it's going to be small.  I really just want to have our cards in order before they get here this summer.


Questions Ė These are the things I need some advice on but please feel free to weigh in about anything at all.  I need all the help I can get.

ē How/What do we budget for the twins?  What's the mustachian suggestion for college savings?  What's your take on 529's?  I don't want to get into the details but I can open one up for each of them at no cost at a reputable asset manager.
ē What can I do with all this cash that I have while maintaining low risk?  I donít want to invest in equities due to the risk.  I was thinking things like bank bonuses and high yield savings accounts with prepaid companies like Mango and Union Plus that offer 5%+ on $5k balances.
ē How should I be thinking about 401k and IRA contributions? I feel good right now and donít plan on going anywhere for awhile but I need to be realistic that reaching retirement age isnít in my favor.
ē If something were to happen to me, I want to leave as much behind as possible for my wife and unborn kids.  I donít know what I want as far as advice on this one but I just wanted to put this out there.
ē I have an expensive diet (organic, gluten free, etc) now as a result of cancer.  Iím not going to change that, itís non-negotiable as itís the only thing that I think has been showing any results for me.  Do you have any ideas to lower our food costs?  I try to eat organic as much as possible.  Iím gluten free, dairy free, and only eat things with no added sugar or low glycemic sweeteners like stevia and agave.  Translation: expensive.
ē This isn't just because I have brain cancer but it's more important because of that.  Both my wife and I are typical 30 year olds and don't have wills, life insurance, etc.  What do we need to take care of getting done in this department before the twins get here?  Should I be doing anything additional since I have brain cancer?
ē On the topic of life insurance, is there anything I can do now or has this ship sailed?


A snapshot of our financials is below.  Let me know if you need anymore information:

Assets:
Cash: $65,000 (wife has an additional $50k in cash)
401k: $84,000 (wife doesnít have a 401k)
Roth IRA: $27,400 (wife has an additional $50k in her IRA)
Life Insurance: $68,000 - It's just the puny standard life insurance my employer offers that is 1x my base salary.  I obviously didn't think something like this would happen to me so I never allotted for a higher amount.  My employer has options that go up to 8x but I already tried to raise it and they needed some medical documents filled out for an increase to even 2x salary, so that obviously wasn't going to work.

Liabilities:
Credit Cards: $0
Student Loans: $6,800 @ 2.1%.  Since the interest rate is so low, Iím just planning on paying the minimum until itís paid off.
As a side note, I paid of $100k+ in undergrad loans and paid for grad school in cash which I graduated from in 2013.  So that's why my assets are low.

Income:
Me: $70k + commission + bonus
2013: $150,000 (I had one very large commission that made it higher, this was an anamoly)
2014: $128,000
2015: I was told in my year end comp discussion to budget  on $115,000 for 2015.
Social Security Benefits: If I were to pass after they got here, my unborn kids would get $2,012/month through SSI.  My wife is eligble for the same amount but since I have a maximum benefit of $4,696/month she would only get $672.

My Wife: $70k in 2013.  She made about the same, maybe a little more in 2014.  She works for two different companies.  It's different every week but I'd say it's usually 3 days from home each week and 2 outside of home on average.  She's trying to increase the work from home for after the twins get here.

Expenses (monthly):
Rent: $2,100 Ė We live in NYC and this is actually a pretty incredible price for Manhattan.  Our place is rent regulated Ė all of our friends pay about double what we do.  Thereís no way we could improve on this and we need to be in Manhattan.
Cell Phone: $160 Ė I know we can and need to get this way down and Iím totally open to suggestions.  We are on AT&T now, so a company that would allow us to bring our iPhones over is preferable.  Another requirement is that they have to use AT&T or Verizonís networks Ė Sprint and T-mobile reception is spotty outside of the city.  For reference, our average monthly use in 2014 for 2 lines: 1,428 minutes, 318 texts, 3.34GB data.
Internet: $57 Ė Sure this seems high but there arenít other options available to us.
Electricity/Heat: $115 (average monthly cost in 2014)
Netflix & Hulu: $16 Ė we donít have cable.
Groceries: $376
Takeout/Restaurants: $400 Ė I know this is an enormous waste and needs to be cut dramatically.  Bad habit.
Laundry/Dry Cleaning: $44
Medical/Dental/Vision Insurance: $476 Ė This is for both of us.  Itís the high end plan that my employer offers.  I wonít be changing this because I need to be on the plan with the lowest out of pocket maximum due to brain cancer.  For context, I hit my out of pocket maximum on January 2nd last year because I was in radiation and that shit is expensive.  The MRI and consultation that I have with my oncologist every quarter is about $6k.
Subway: $112 Ė unlimited monthly
Taxi/Uber: $50 Ė I know this is a huge waste but this is mainly used for going to my hospital which is across the city and is a trek on public transit.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 03:06:50 PM by Acg »

homehandymum

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 551
  • Location: New Zealand
Hi Acg.  Hopefully someone more local to you than I can help with the budgetting for the babies and the house question.

What I can chime in on is the diet :)  I have a friend whose husband has recurring cancer in his jaw and is basically on a no-sugar, very low carb, ketogenic diet, complicated by him only having half a jaw (so needs to be liquid or very mushy).  At least one (and usually two) of his meals every day is a coconut cream smoothie, using a whole can of coconut cream (or coconut milk - but not coconut water) plus whatever else he's putting into it that day.  Bulk purchasing can make these cans *really* cheap. 

Best of luck
« Last Edit: January 25, 2015, 11:06:35 PM by homehandymum »

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6445
  • Location: BC
Hi Acg,

I like the fact that you are looking long term in your planning horizon.   Don't ignore a full life as a real possibility, especially if you are showing positive signs.

My Brother in law has a rare blood recessive genetic disorder, and doctors predicted he would not live to 26-30 years old.  So he and Sis decided on kids early, and work takes a backstage to ensuring they have very nice vacations, and lots of the "good things" while kids are growing up.  Neither have been very career minded.  Him partly because he has full medical benefits at work, and gets tired easily, so did not try to find a "career" job byond 6 months at the local college (he works in a factory with his dad), and she is a part time Admin assistant.  Their savings (I think) is a life insurance policy they took out before he was fully diagnosed, based on some the relatives health back in the "old" country.

Guess what?   

He is living longer than the next oldest person with this disorder ever did.   And the couple of others around his age (a little younger with lesser forms) with the same thing are also mostly surviving it.

He seems actually in pretty decent health, when not trying alternative invasive medical treatments,  and is able to do a lot more things than some of my friends, so I would guess he will be watching the kids graduate, for certain.   

And I have no idea how they will live out the rest of their years at this income level.

So, other than ensuring you have a HUGE emergency fund, good for a year + of living costs, or expensive co-pays or whatever, keep planning on life happening as it normally would.  (okay, minus the non MMM assumption that income will always be increasing so more debt is always OK).

To do this - keep you monthly costs low -- buy a place smaller than what you want now, but what you will want if income is reduced, etc. 
Accept graciously any gifts or support that your family and community want to help you with for the twins.

frugaldrummer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 694
First, congratulations on the twins!  Don't go overboard buying kid stuff, see what you can get used from friends, family, craigslist....they outgrow stuff so quickly, and you don't need half the crap they sell in those baby stores.

Second...have you looked into cannabis oil? Low in THC (so doesn't make you high) but high in cannabinoids (which do show anti cancer effects in the lab). Also check out a book called Anti-cancer written by a physician who had a brain tumor. 

Don't buy a house if you have to stay in NYC and have such a great deal on your apartment.

As for your dietary needs, take a look at the Paleo diet website marksdailyapple.com.  I'm pretty sure there's posts there about keeping food costs down.

Spondulix

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 642
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
This may not sound very Mustachian, but have you considered taking a vacation before the kids are born and while your wife can still travel? Regardless of your health, having twins will probably make it difficult (financially and logistically) to travel for quite a while.

Is your company the type where co-workers could donate vacation days to you? Last year my sister lost a good friend/co-worker to a brain tumor, and in the years leading up, others at the company donated sick/vacation days so that she could spend extra time with family, vacation, etc. Hopefully you're on the far, far end of that 30 year spectrum (or beyond), but you have to take into consideration the opportunities that you have now.

sarah8001

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
Wow, you have a great attitude.
My first thought is that 70k will outright buy a house in some parts of the nation. I know you need to be in NYC right now, but what about later in life? Since there's a pretty good chance that your wife will be a single parent at some point, owning a house outright in a low COL area might make that a lot easier. Another thought would be what she would want her life to look like at that point. Does her current career make enough money to support her and at least two kids? Maybe she would like to work from home or work part time. Switching careers now could make a huge difference in what life would be like later for her and your children. And if you live much longer than predicted, it only gets better because you get to spend more time with her and your family.
And I actually think your food budget is pretty reasonable considering your dietary restrictions. Eating out is pretty high though, and cutting that would help. I also wouldn't sweat the taxi rides. The eating out is definitely your low hanging fruit. Having a chronic or terminal illness is one of the best reasons to buy time I've ever heard.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6445
  • Location: BC
This may not sound very Mustachian, but have you considered taking a vacation before the kids are born and while your wife can still travel? Regardless of your health, having twins will probably make it difficult (financially and logistically) to travel for quite a while.



This is pretty bad advice, IMO.   Maybe a staycation,  or focus something in town that you both like to do...   

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9835
  • Location: Seattle
A few things that aren't clear from your original post that might help us give better/more targeted advice:

1)  Do you have any kind of life insurance through your employer, etc.  Probably can't get it now, but there are a few types that

2)  How many years of SSI credits do you have?  You might want to go in to the Social Security office and talk with them about what the survivor benefits would be for your wife/kids.  Many people are unaware of how this benefit works -- it is basically like life insurance, at least as long as your kids are in K-12 school, as long as you have earned enough credits to qualify for it.

3)  Does your wife currently work as well?  What is her income?  Is she planning to continue to work after the kids come?  CHildcare in NY is insanely expensive, so might not be worth it.

4)  Do you or she have family elsewhere where she could relocate if she were a single mom?  It might be easier to make it on a single income + survivor benefits in a less expensive place, especially if family can help with housing or childcare.

I would NOT be thinking about buying property in NYC in your situation.  Your rent situation is golden and you don't want to saddle your wife with a mortgage she can't pay on her own without your income.

NYC is AMAZING for getting great kid stuff cheap if you put the word out.  Nobody has the space to store baby things.  Let everyone in your network know you are expecting twins, facing a scary medical diagnosis, and would love to take their unwanted baby stuff off their hands.  You'll have more than you know what to do with in no time.

You can get a lot of paleoish stuff at Costco for great prices.  Coconut oil, organic meat and eggs, nuts, etc.

Don't pay off the student loan early unless your wife is a co-signer on it.  She won't be responsible for the debt unless she co-signed.

If you don't make it to retirement age your retirement accounts can be rolled over to your wife (or, eventually, to your kids).  You'll need to weigh the current tax benefits against the long-term cashflow needs to figure out what it makes sense to do now versus upping your emergency fund.  Roth IRA contributions can be tapped without penalty and therefore can serve as a backup emergency fund.  I would also aim to have a good amount in cash, but be sure you understand how Medicaid works in case you ever get to the point where you are not able to work -- I think retirement accounts are safe, whereas everything else needs to get spent down before you can qualify for Medicaid.  A social worker at the hospital might be able to explain how it all works.

I am really impressed by your attitude and foresight in dealing with this.  Great news that the tumor has shrunk so much.  Hope you stay in good health and have many months and years ahead with your wife and babies.



lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9835
  • Location: Seattle
PS:  Talk with your HR person about how you might want to adjust your tax withholding now to ensure you aren't having too much taken out -- the two new dependents will help you at tax time.

Spondulix

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 642
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
This may not sound very Mustachian, but have you considered taking a vacation before the kids are born and while your wife can still travel? Regardless of your health, having twins will probably make it difficult (financially and logistically) to travel for quite a while.



This is pretty bad advice, IMO.   Maybe a staycation,  or focus something in town that you both like to do...
My suggestion wasn't my own opinion - I was sharing the experience of someone who actually died from a brain tumor. She traveled to Mexico during chemo, bought a house (thinking she could live there years or not even survive til closing). I think she was even planning a wedding to her longtime boyfriend, despite both of them knowing she had a tumor. She was probably creating more problems for her survivors than she was preparing for her death, but no one cared because she was ALIVE. There is a point where living life can be more important than being practical... And it's not our place to make that judgement.

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Again, you really have a positive attitude in the face of challenges.  That's definitely worthy of praise!

I think you're right to keep your grocery bill at its current stage, given that it's making a real difference for you.

About the house:  WHY do you want to own a house?  You say you're paying so much less than everyone else in Manhatten, why not stay there?  I think it's wise to keep in the back of your mind, "What if my wife were a single parent of twins?"  OR, "What if my wife were caring for both me and twins?"  A house would involve more work for her -- upkeep of a yard, replacement of a roof occasionally.  If you feel the need to own property, I'd suggest a condo.  Definitely get mortgage insurance that would pay off the house if you were to die. 

Continuing that thought:  Do you intend to stay in Manhatten?  As someone else said, you could buy a house with the cash you have somewhere else in the country. 

On other topics:

Looking into SSI is a good idea; you'll qualify even if you don't have the years of employment.  Social Security isn't JUST for the elderly; it also encompasses disability and children who've lost their parents.  One of my uncles died young, and his children each received a Social Security check until they turned 18 (or until they finished high school? -- not quite sure, since those two things tend to gang together).  Look into how much your wife will qualify for and how to apply. 



Pigeon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1199
The takeout is the obvious thing to cut out of your current budget.

If it were my family, I would concentrate on making your wife employable, if she isn't working now.  Since you don't have her salary included in your budget, it looks like maybe she is not?  If that's the case, if I were her, I'd be thinking about how to make myself as marketable as possible.  You don't say why you need to stay in NYC.  If it is because you have relatives who can help with childcare, that would be a great reason to stay.  Otherwise, if she's not working now, I'd be looking at some type of career that would be portable, should she want to move to a lower COL area in the future.

Is there Aldi in NYC?  They have a lot of organic options now, and are pretty inexpensive.

I wish you the best.  I'm a cancer survivor myself, and completely understand and agree that you have to have the best medical plan you can have right now.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
i would like to hear so elaboration on the diet you're following... i assume a forks over knives type diet. It may not be in this thread but a 50% shrinkage when doctors say western medicine hasnt a solution and you just modified your diet.  Thats pretty awesome and seems to mirror the Forks over knives stories/philosophy.  I don't have any forms of cancer currently.  but it seems to be something that will just become a part of life so any information you could provide or even if you would start a journal on what you're doing how you got there etc.  could help others in the future. 

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Thanks for all of the responses so far.  They're making me realize how much information I left out.  I'm a little busy right now but I'll write back with a lot more info and edit the original post as well.  Thank you so much for all of the advice.

MandalayVA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1575
  • Location: Orlando FL
Definitely look into SSI.  My mother died when I was 12 and I got SSI checks until I turned 18.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4608
  • Location: Avalon
Congrats on the twins, bummer about the brain cancer.

My top tip would be: don't complicate your life more than you need to.  Your job, your marriage, the illness and the twins will be plenty to manage, you do not need to add the stress and expense of buying a house.

Keeping your savings in cash is itself a risk, as it loses value year on year.  If you are concerned about the risk of investing in equities for capital gain, you might try looking into investing in equities for their dividend returns - there are a few people here who do that (spoonman has a journal including his recent retirement on the proceeds of dividend investing).  Also, drip feeding some of the savings from that nice income you have into the equities market over time would spread out the risk as against putting in a lump sum all at one time.

Best of luck.

TheOfficeLady

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
As someone who had a life threatening medical condition for awhile, I really want to commend you for thinking ahead and making emotionally difficult decisions. It can be hard to do so. You are clearly a really responsible and caring husband and Dad. I will also caution you that sometimes tumors can cause memory issues and/or fatigue. If you notice it happening there are occupational therapists who specialize in helping with this issue. Sometimes people do live longer than they are told they will. Wishing you all the best.

Shade00

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 144
Keep on fighting the good fight. I certainly hope you get 30 or more years.

I recommend you switch your phones to Cricket. Cricket is owned by AT&T and uses the AT&T network. You can have both phones on Cricket for $70/month. You can upgrade/downgrade plans during the month should you need more data.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4018
My uncle did his cancer treatment at MSK in NYC.  I don't know if that is where you are going, but best of luck either way. 

I agree your groceries are reasonable, just cut your take-out 50$ or so every month until it's around 100 a month.  Definitely DEFINITELY get some freezer meals made up now so they are ready if your wife suddenly goes on bed rest, or for when the babies are first home, or whatever.  If you need help with stuff that would fit your diet, start a new post with specifics.  Lots of people will have ideas.

I have a strong family history of cancer, and it agree with the previous recommendation of the book Anticancer.  The dr. who wrote it had brain cancer, and initially treated it with the std. western protocol, and relapsed, and since then has treated it with diet (combined with western med) with much greater success.  It sounds like you may already be doing a lot of those things, but you might pick up some new ideas. 

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Second...have you looked into cannabis oil? Low in THC (so doesn't make you high) but high in cannabinoids (which do show anti cancer effects in the lab). Also check out a book called Anti-cancer written by a physician who had a brain tumor.

I have and everything I have read for cancer is that you need the variety that is higher in THC (not CBD) so unfortunately it does get you high.

And yeah, I read Anticnacer shortly after I was diagnosed.  It was the inspiration for me making all the changes.  I love it!


This may not sound very Mustachian, but have you considered taking a vacation before the kids are born and while your wife can still travel? Regardless of your health, having twins will probably make it difficult (financially and logistically) to travel for quite a while.

Is your company the type where co-workers could donate vacation days to you? Last year my sister lost a good friend/co-worker to a brain tumor, and in the years leading up, others at the company donated sick/vacation days so that she could spend extra time with family, vacation, etc. Hopefully you're on the far, far end of that 30 year spectrum (or beyond), but you have to take into consideration the opportunities that you have now.

We're planning a "babymoon" as soon as we talk to our OBGYN and get the go ahead on a timeline for travel.  Twins come earlier than singles, so we just want to know when it's safe to travel.

Unfortunately my company does not do that.


Wow, you have a great attitude.
My first thought is that 70k will outright buy a house in some parts of the nation. I know you need to be in NYC right now, but what about later in life? Since there's a pretty good chance that your wife will be a single parent at some point, owning a house outright in a low COL area might make that a lot easier. Another thought would be what she would want her life to look like at that point. Does her current career make enough money to support her and at least two kids? Maybe she would like to work from home or work part time. Switching careers now could make a huge difference in what life would be like later for her and your children. And if you live much longer than predicted, it only gets better because you get to spend more time with her and your family.

So the reason for us staying in NYC is that my wife's mother lives in the city as well so we need to be here for the free child care.  I also goto Memorial Sloan Kettering, so it's nice to be in the same city as my hospital but that's not the main reason for it.  The free child care is why.

I can't believe I didn't mention this in my original post (it's what I like to call a brain tumor fart).  My wife does a couple different things but works from home 3-4 days a week.  She does pretty well for herself and made $70k in 2013.  We haven't done the math yet for 2014 but I'm going to guess it was a little more than that.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2015, 02:56:56 PM by Acg »

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
A few things that aren't clear from your original post that might help us give better/more targeted advice:

1)  Do you have any kind of life insurance through your employer, etc.  Probably can't get it now, but there are a few types that

2)  How many years of SSI credits do you have?  You might want to go in to the Social Security office and talk with them about what the survivor benefits would be for your wife/kids.  Many people are unaware of how this benefit works -- it is basically like life insurance, at least as long as your kids are in K-12 school, as long as you have earned enough credits to qualify for it.

3)  Does your wife currently work as well?  What is her income?  Is she planning to continue to work after the kids come?  CHildcare in NY is insanely expensive, so might not be worth it.

4)  Do you or she have family elsewhere where she could relocate if she were a single mom?  It might be easier to make it on a single income + survivor benefits in a less expensive place, especially if family can help with housing or childcare.

You can get a lot of paleoish stuff at Costco for great prices.  Coconut oil, organic meat and eggs, nuts, etc.

If you don't make it to retirement age your retirement accounts can be rolled over to your wife (or, eventually, to your kids).  You'll need to weigh the current tax benefits against the long-term cashflow needs to figure out what it makes sense to do now versus upping your emergency fund.  Roth IRA contributions can be tapped without penalty and therefore can serve as a backup emergency fund.  I would also aim to have a good amount in cash, but be sure you understand how Medicaid works in case you ever get to the point where you are not able to work -- I think retirement accounts are safe, whereas everything else needs to get spent down before you can qualify for Medicaid.  A social worker at the hospital might be able to explain how it all works.

As far as life insurance, I'm only 30 years old so I didn't have anything besides the standard 1x salary which is peanuts since it doesn't take into consideration my commission at all.

I have no idea about how many years of SSI credits I have.  I've been working full time at the same employer for 7.5 years since graduating from college - can you tell from that at all?  This is something I'm going to look into this week though for sure.  I didn't even think about this, thank you.  It will put me at ease a little bit to that my kids will be getting a check if I should pass.  Is that money able to be spent by my wife for living expenses or does it have to go into a college fund or something similar?

I just mentioned this before.  My wife freelances at a couple different places and made about $70k last year.  The nice thing for her is that this allows her to be home with the kids.  Her mom also lives in NYC and only works until noon, so she plans on coming over afterwards to help out and give her a break.

As I said before, her mom lives in the city.  My family all lives about an hour outside of the city where it's cheaper.  We were talking about looking for homes outside of the city so she would be willing to relocate but it will be in a suburb close to the city so the savings wouldn't be too much.

Good call on costco.  I never thought about going there since the NYC location is in an area that I would have thought would have been insanely annoying to get to but I just found out after looking into it that there is a bus pretty close to me that goes right there and is probably a 15 minute trip.  THANK YOU!

Thanks for the advice on the retirement accounts.  So are you saying that if I were to pass and my 401k and my ROTH IRA were to goto my wife, that she would have to keep them in their current vehicles?  Or could she withdraw from those accounts at the time penalty free?

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
About the house:  WHY do you want to own a house?  You say you're paying so much less than everyone else in Manhatten, why not stay there?  I think it's wise to keep in the back of your mind, "What if my wife were a single parent of twins?"  OR, "What if my wife were caring for both me and twins?"  A house would involve more work for her -- upkeep of a yard, replacement of a roof occasionally.  If you feel the need to own property, I'd suggest a condo.  Definitely get mortgage insurance that would pay off the house if you were to die. 

Continuing that thought:  Do you intend to stay in Manhatten?  As someone else said, you could buy a house with the cash you have somewhere else in the country. 

On other topics:

Looking into SSI is a good idea; you'll qualify even if you don't have the years of employment.  Social Security isn't JUST for the elderly; it also encompasses disability and children who've lost their parents.  One of my uncles died young, and his children each received a Social Security check until they turned 18 (or until they finished high school? -- not quite sure, since those two things tend to gang together).  Look into how much your wife will qualify for and how to apply.

I wanted to buy a house (outside of NYC) because I was sick of throwing away my money every month.  I wanted to build some equity.  Maybe my pride got in my way and I need to be more realistic.

We intend to stay in Manhattan for 2 more years or so and then figure it out from there.

Thanks for the words about SS. I hadn't thought about that.  I put some details in the previous post, do you have anything to add with that additional information in regards to the kind of benefits they could get?

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Is there Aldi in NYC?  They have a lot of organic options now, and are pretty inexpensive.

I'd never even heard of Aldi before so I assumed it wasn't here but it's actually right next to the Costco that I mentioned earlier.  I thought it was in a super annoying place to get to but it's probably a 15 minute bus ride away.  What do you like to get there?  Im getting pumped.  Two new shopping choices, VAMOS.

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
i would like to hear so elaboration on the diet you're following... i assume a forks over knives type diet. It may not be in this thread but a 50% shrinkage when doctors say western medicine hasnt a solution and you just modified your diet.  Thats pretty awesome and seems to mirror the Forks over knives stories/philosophy.  I don't have any forms of cancer currently.  but it seems to be something that will just become a part of life so any information you could provide or even if you would start a journal on what you're doing how you got there etc.  could help others in the future.

So really high level, I'm gluten and dairy free and don't eat anything with added sugar.  I also eat organic whenever possible or at least the "dirty dozen" (see below link).  I also only eat grass fed and organic chicken and beef.  Only wild seafood - farm raised is bad.

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ALB00035/The-Dirty-Dozen-Foods-You-Should-Always-Buy-Organic.html

So it's not a "Forks Over Knives" diet because I eat animal protein so it's not plant based.  With that being said, I do enjoy veggies and even eat vegan sometimes - I just enjoy meat too much and was never instructed by my nutritionist to get off the meat.  I've read about alkaline diets but I would fail miserably at that.  Ketogenic just sounds disgusting to me as well.

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Definitely look into SSI.  My mother died when I was 12 and I got SSI checks until I turned 18.

Did your dad get those checks or did they go into some kind of trust for you?

mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Location: San Francisco
@ACG - Go to the Social Security website https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do and create an account to see what your survivor benefits will be for your family.

Your kids and spouse that is a caretaker of your child will be eligible for survivor benefits, with family benefits capped at 150-180% of your full retirement benefits.  For example if your current benefits at full retirement age is $2700 a month, then your surviving child is eligible to get $2000 a month up to 18 years old (19 if they are still in secondary school), your surviving spouse that who is caring for your child is eligible to get $2000, with a family benefit cap of $4700 a month.

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Keep on fighting the good fight. I certainly hope you get 30 or more years.

I recommend you switch your phones to Cricket. Cricket is owned by AT&T and uses the AT&T network. You can have both phones on Cricket for $70/month. You can upgrade/downgrade plans during the month should you need more data.

Is the coverage exactly the same as AT&T?  Do they throttle at all?  Can we BYOD our iphones?  Do they need to be unlocked or can they be the AT&T version?

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
My uncle did his cancer treatment at MSK in NYC.  I don't know if that is where you are going, but best of luck either way. 

I have a strong family history of cancer, and it agree with the previous recommendation of the book Anticancer.  The dr. who wrote it had brain cancer, and initially treated it with the std. western protocol, and relapsed, and since then has treated it with diet (combined with western med) with much greater success.  It sounds like you may already be doing a lot of those things, but you might pick up some new ideas.

I'm at MSK.  And Anticancer is my inspiration!

mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Location: San Francisco
I would also look into AirVoice wireless.  Based on our usage, I'm at work with WiFi and don't have a commute where I use a lot of data, my wife is mostly at home or somewhere with the kids with WiFi. 

So we cut our Iphone ATT bills from $130 to about $30 a month on the $10 prepaid monthly plans.  We mostly call and message each other via Google Hangouts, where you just get a Google Voice number. 

It's 4 cents a minute, 2 cents a message, and 6 cents a megabye for data.  My wife is actually in your area and ran out of minutes and we have been able to contact each other with no issues for the past 5-7 days.

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
@ACG - Go to the Social Security website https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do and create an account to see what your survivor benefits will be for your family.

Your kids and spouse that is a caretaker of your child will be eligible for survivor benefits, with family benefits capped at 150-180% of your full retirement benefits.  For example if your current benefits at full retirement age is $2700 a month, then your surviving child is eligible to get $2000 a month up to 18 years old (19 if they are still in secondary school), your surviving spouse that who is caring for your child is eligible to get $2000, with a family benefit cap of $4700 a month.
So I just logged onto the website an it had the below information.  Is this saying that both of my kids and my wife would receive $2,012 a month if I were to pass?

Your child: $2,012 a month
Your spouse who is caring for your child: $2,012 a month

mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Location: San Francisco
So I just logged onto the website an it had the below information.  Is this saying that both of my kids and my wife would receive $2,012 a month if I were to pass?

Your child: $2,012 a month
Your spouse who is caring for your child: $2,012 a month

Yes each child and spouse is eligible for $2012 a month, but there is cap on family benefits, it is probably around $4500 based on those numbers.  It should be right under the child and spouse figure.

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
So I just logged onto the website an it had the below information.  Is this saying that both of my kids and my wife would receive $2,012 a month if I were to pass?

Your child: $2,012 a month
Your spouse who is caring for your child: $2,012 a month

Yes each child and spouse is eligible for $2012 a month, but there is cap on family benefits, it is probably around $4500 based on those numbers.  It should be right under the child and spouse figure.

Sorry, I didn't keep reading.  Poor reading comprehension.  It says $4,696 is the maximum benefit.  Would she get that full amount?  Is it taxed at all?  Thanks again.

caliq

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 675
So I just logged onto the website an it had the below information.  Is this saying that both of my kids and my wife would receive $2,012 a month if I were to pass?

Your child: $2,012 a month
Your spouse who is caring for your child: $2,012 a month

Yes each child and spouse is eligible for $2012 a month, but there is cap on family benefits, it is probably around $4500 based on those numbers.  It should be right under the child and spouse figure.

Sorry, I didn't keep reading.  Poor reading comprehension.  It says $4,696 is the maximum benefit.  Would she get that full amount?  Is it taxed at all?  Thanks again.

$2012 * 3 is larger than $4696, so yes she would get the maximum benefit of $4696.  In terms of taxes, that's a possibility, but it probably wouldn't be.

http://www.irs.gov/Help-&-Resources/Tools-&-FAQs/FAQs-for-Individuals/Frequently-Asked-Tax-Questions-&-Answers/Social-Security-Income/Survivors%27-Benefits/Survivors%27-Benefits

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4018
We just switched to Cricket and used our old Verizon phones.  You can definitely use ATT phones and they also have pretty cheap/free new phones (although obviously the cheap ones aren't fancy) if yours dies.    Apparently they throttle data speed such that it might be hard to stream video but it is 100% fine for web surfing, FB, etc.  We are saving a fortune. 

If you search for Costco threads you will find a bunch of what people buy for good prices.  Off the top of my head, Kerrygold butter, wild caught seafood, many organic fresh veggies (carrots, lettuce, etc) and organic frozen veggies (broccoli, peas, corn, green beans) and some organic frozen fruit, coconut oil, organic EVOO, organic dried fruit like dates, raisins, etc, some organic processed food if you eat tortilla chips, marys gone crackers, etc.  Organic grains like brown rice and quinoa, as well as baking staples like vanilla. 

Obviously in a small NYC apartment you may not be able to store all of that, but most of the above is shockingly cheaper at Costco, with the same or far better quality, compared to regular midwest grocery prices.  I am guessing the price difference will be even more shocking in NYC. 

feelingroovy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 295

Sorry, I didn't keep reading.  Poor reading comprehension.  It says $4,696 is the maximum benefit.  Would she get that full amount?  Is it taxed at all?  Thanks again.

$2012 * 3 is larger than $4696, so yes she would get the maximum benefit of $4696.  In terms of taxes, that's a possibility, but it probably wouldn't be.
[/quote]

First, there is a lot of info on the Social Security website.  See this link: http://www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/onyourown.htm

The children will receive income up until they're 18 (or I believe graduated from high school, which ever comes later).  Your wife can use that for living expenses to support them.

Your wife's benefit (the difference between what the two kids get and the family limit) will be phased out if she earns more than a very low limit.   I am not positive about the numbers, but I think it's as low as a $14k limit.  It gets slowly phased out, but the full limits aren't very high.  So if your spouse is still able to earn $70k, she (likely) won't get anything.  Her income does not affect the kids' benefits.

Seriously, call your local social security office.  They're very helpful.

My sister's husband died a couple years ago and I helped her figure some of this out.

daymare

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 463
  • Age: 30
Quote
Rent: $2,100 Ė We live in NYC and this is actually a pretty incredible price for Manhattan.  Our place is rent regulated Ė all of our friends pay about double what we do.  Thereís no way we could improve on this and we need to be in Manhattan.

Acg - I'll just get straight to the point.  Why in the hell do the two of you want to buy a house in 2-3 years?  You said above that your rent is about half the going market rate.  I'll bet there is no way to buy a comparable place and pay as little as you are paying in rent.  Not to mention, you have to be building your life while keeping an eye on the possibility that your wife will be a single parent in the future.  Your great rental rate is good for the your current lives (close to your MIL & friends), and also good for the future as it leaves your wife with her options open and no real estate mortgage as an albatross around her neck.  Could this home ownership goal be one you're pursuing just because that's what everyone does and it seems good?  I think you should both really think about whether it's the right choice.

Next, you say you've had an income above 100K for the last few years, and your wife brought in about 70K last year (and presumably similar amount before?).  Where is all this money going?  Your assets are so low, that I frankly don't really buy your listed expenses.  Do they really show the full picture?  My big recommendation is to track every single purchase you make - either old-school in a spreadsheet or automatically via accounts in mint.  I think you really need to do that to make big moves forward and have an accurate picture of your lifestyle.

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Acg - I'll just get straight to the point.  Why in the hell do the two of you want to buy a house in 2-3 years?  You said above that your rent is about half the going market rate.  I'll bet there is no way to buy a comparable place and pay as little as you are paying in rent.  Not to mention, you have to be building your life while keeping an eye on the possibility that your wife will be a single parent in the future.  Your great rental rate is good for the your current lives (close to your MIL & friends), and also good for the future as it leaves your wife with her options open and no real estate mortgage as an albatross around her neck.  Could this home ownership goal be one you're pursuing just because that's what everyone does and it seems good?  I think you should both really think about whether it's the right choice.

Like I mentioned before, perhaps the goal for home purchase is a little selfish but part of the reasoning for it is also because our apartment is a 1 bedroom and while it's big enough now, it will be too small when the twins get to be a few years old and are moving around.  At the same time, I don't think about the possibility of my wife being a single mother and how much of a burden it will be.  I'm realizing now that this is not a good idea.  I'm going to edit the original post to reflect this change in heart.

Next, you say you've had an income above 100K for the last few years, and your wife brought in about 70K last year (and presumably similar amount before?).  Where is all this money going?  Your assets are so low, that I frankly don't really buy your listed expenses.  Do they really show the full picture?  My big recommendation is to track every single purchase you make - either old-school in a spreadsheet or automatically via accounts in mint.  I think you really need to do that to make big moves forward and have an accurate picture of your lifestyle.

Two things:

1 - Before those 2 years, I wasn't making over $100k.

2 - In the last 7 years, I have been fixated on paying off my student loans.  Over that time, I paid off $100k in private undergrad loans and paid in cash for my grad school program which I graduated from in 2013.

Our expenses and income that I provided are accurate.  I've just been focussed on paying off the cost of schooling.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 04:08:56 PM by Acg »

daymare

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 463
  • Age: 30
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2015, 05:59:18 PM »
Quote
Two things:

1 - Before those 2 years, I wasn't making over $100k.

2 - In the last 7 years, I have been fixated on paying off my student loans.  Over that time, I paid off $100k in private undergrad loans and paid in cash for my grad school program which I graduated from in 2013.

Thanks for the clarification - that makes a lot of sense & gives me a clearer understanding of your financial history.  Congrats on paying off all that debt!

Quote
At the same time, I don't think about the possibility of my wife being a single mother and how much of a burden it will be.  I'm realizing now that this is not a good idea.  I'm going to edit the original post to reflect this change in heart.

For some more thoughts about housing, check out this hilarious article: http://jlcollinsnh.com/2013/05/29/why-your-house-is-a-terrible-investment/

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2015, 08:02:29 PM »
I just edited the first post to include the additional details from all of the questions and I thought of a few more questions.  Any insight on these?  Thanks.

ē What's the mustachian suggestion for college savings?  What's your take on 529's?  I don't want to get into the details but I can open one up for each of them at no cost at a reputable asset manager.
ē This isn't just because I have brain cancer but it's more important because of that.  Both my wife and I are typical 30 year olds and don't have wills, life insurance, etc.  What do we need to take care of getting done in this department before the twins get here?  Should I be doing anything additional since I have brain cancer?
ē On the topic of life insurance, is there anything I can do now or has this ship sailed?

Blonde Lawyer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 735
    • My Student Loan Refi Story
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2015, 09:18:17 PM »
Life insurance - you can probably only be covered by a group plan through an employer.  That means if your employer doesn't offer a higher option your only other choice is to go to an employer that does or have your wife go to an employer that offers life insurance to spouses (rare, but they exist).  Other than that, I'm guessing that ship has sailed.

You need to see an estate planning lawyer stat.  You want a durable health care power of attorney / living will.  It will say who can make decisions on your behalf and what your wishes are.  In some states, certain wishes (do not resuscitate for example) need additional signatures, like from your physician.  You should have a document that states who you want to have custody of your kids if you and your wife pass before they turn 18.  This person would obviously have to accept this appointment so its good to list a couple.  (One reason I'm glad my husband and I don't want kids right now is I have no idea who I would choose for this.)  You should also speak with an attorney about any estate tax planning you could be doing and ways to avoid probate.  For example, accounts could be placed in a trust or your wife can be added as a joint owner.  A good attorney should be able to give you this advice in an hour and spend another hour on the documents.  This should cost you well under $1000.  Oh, if you really trust your wife, consider giving her a full power of attorney, not just a health care one.  Limited powers of attorney and health care ones sometimes require a finding that you are incompetent to make decisions.  That can be hard limit to hit.  With brain tumors or other things that effect cognition, usually the people close to you see you have changed before you reach that standard.  You really need to speak with an attorney but it would be nice to have a document that let your wife sign for you while you were hospitalized.  It would be even better if she could make decisions for you when SHE realizes you are having problems not the court but I don't know exactly how that document would need to be structured.  Not my area of law.

On the diet thing, I just want to give you kudos.  I have Crohn's and was medicated for years never reaching remission.  I went dairy free and gluten free on my own and hit remission and cut my meds way down.  I also have another disease that causes deep skin cysts that have to be surgically removed.  My doctor swears low carb, dairy free, gluten free, fake junk free diet cures them or stops new ones from forming.  I have had great success with this diet.  One other diet to consider is "no nightshades."  While researching my diet issues we realized my husband has a hard time with nightshades.  These include tomato, potato (but not sweet potato), paprika, eggplant and tobacco. 

I wish you and your family the best!!




mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2015, 09:24:17 PM »
Check if your company provides legal service as a benefit.  Where you pay $10-$15 a month and have access to attorneys for wills, driving violation, and adoption.  Better than paying $1-$2k for a will and estate plan.

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2015, 09:30:21 PM »
I wish you and your family the best!!

Thank you very much for all of the helpful info.

lhamo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9835
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2015, 11:34:23 PM »
This website has some great suggestions/templates for the kinds of documents you might want to start preparing to have on hand if your medical condition deteriorates.  The woman who founded it lost her spouse suddenly to a tragic bicycle accident, and developed the website to help ensure other survivors wouldn't have to go through the hell she went through trying to get finances, etc. worked out.

http://getyourshittogether.org/


Pigeon

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1199
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2015, 06:06:02 AM »
I think seeing a lawyer who specializes in estate planning is worth it in your situation.  My employer has a legal services plan.  It was OK for making our very simple will, but the lawyer we had to use was certainly not a specialist.

I'm a breast cancer survivor, cancer free ten years out from treatment.  I have some life insurance from my employer, and recently got a quote from my insurance company.  It would have been over $800/month for not a gigantic amount of coverage.  Like the pp said, I suspect that unless you can get it through work, you aren't going to have much luck.

Re 529s, the contributions are deductible on your NYS taxes.  For our situation, that makes it worthwhile.

Blonde Lawyer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 735
    • My Student Loan Refi Story
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #44 on: January 28, 2015, 09:09:44 AM »
I also meant to add (and this is good advice for everyone) know your state's intestate laws.  This means what will happen to your money, by statute, if you die without a will.  Most people assume it goes to their spouse but in many states this is not true.  It could be a percent to your parents, a percent to your siblings, a percent to your kids, and a percent to your spouse.  If you like your state's intestate distribution then it is less urgent to have a will, but still worthwhile to see an estate planning lawyer to plan stuff is a way to avoid taxes, creditors, hold ups.

A lot of people would want their money to go to their spouse but when they learn the intestate law gives a chunk to their parents, they then feel bad writing a will that would effectively disinherit their parents.  I recommend figuring out what you want before you see the attorney or look up the law.  It is easier to know what "you" want rather than what the law suggests that way.  Also some states have laws that you must leave a certain percentage to your spouse/kids.  Also good to know.

Lastly, from a practical perspective, consider making your wishes known to your spouse.  This is a hard conversation to have but is actually required by some law enforcement jobs.  Do you want to be cremated or buried? Donated to science? Donated organs? Big funeral or small ceremony? Many people spend a lot of money on post-death events because they feel they have to in order to show their love for the deceased.  My husband has made it very clear he wants the cheapest pine box and the money in my pocket, not the funeral homes.  Any special songs? People you want to read? Pall bearers? Do you want her to remarry?  (I would suggest if the answer is no that you DONT tell her that but if the answer is yes, it can be very helpful for her to know that.)

Again, the goal is you live many many many more years and all of this planning is unnecessary but it is better to have it and not need it.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #45 on: January 28, 2015, 10:32:44 AM »
Social Security Benefits: If I were to pass after they got here, my unborn kids would get $2,012/month through SSI.  My wife is eligble for the same amount but since I have a maximum benefit of $4,696/month she would only get $672.

I understand that there are questions regarding posthumously conceived kids (e.g. a widow becoming pregnant with frozen sperm years after the husband passed), but your kids don't fall into that category.  Why do you think they wouldn't get benefits if you died before they were born?

Acg

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 102
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2015, 11:10:27 AM »
Social Security Benefits: If I were to pass after they got here, my unborn kids would get $2,012/month through SSI.  My wife is eligble for the same amount but since I have a maximum benefit of $4,696/month she would only get $672.

I understand that there are questions regarding posthumously conceived kids (e.g. a widow becoming pregnant with frozen sperm years after the husband passed), but your kids don't fall into that category.  Why do you think they wouldn't get benefits if you died before they were born?

Maybe I phrased that incorrectly but I hadn't actually  even thought about how you interpreted my comments.  I'm going to call SS and get this confirmed along with some other things but it's nice to know before calling. Are you saying that if I were to pass before my kids were born that they would still be entitled to the monthly SS benefit? Thanks.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2015, 02:05:35 PM »
Social Security Benefits: If I were to pass after they got here, my unborn kids would get $2,012/month through SSI.  My wife is eligble for the same amount but since I have a maximum benefit of $4,696/month she would only get $672.

I understand that there are questions regarding posthumously conceived kids (e.g. a widow becoming pregnant with frozen sperm years after the husband passed), but your kids don't fall into that category.  Why do you think they wouldn't get benefits if you died before they were born?

Maybe I phrased that incorrectly but I hadn't actually  even thought about how you interpreted my comments.  I'm going to call SS and get this confirmed along with some other things but it's nice to know before calling. Are you saying that if I were to pass before my kids were born that they would still be entitled to the monthly SS benefit? Thanks.

I can't guarantee it, but I did find this:
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Home/rulings/oasi/53/SSR68-22-oasi-53.html

It's basically saying the unborn child was "in being" prior to the death and the mother/unborn kid were relying on him for support prior to his death.  (The relying on question is likely due to the illegitimacy but this isn't my area of expertise.)  If you google, you'll see a lot of debate and a supreme court decision that rules that a widow who got pregnant a year or two after the death of her husband from cancer was not entitled to SS benefits for the kid.

That said, your state may interpret it differently, and I don't know how that would affect the federal benefit.  I don't think so it would change matters though - I think most of the debates are over pregnancies after the death (however wanted by the deceased they were).  Which makes sense.

zoltani

  • Guest
[
I have and everything I have read for cancer is that you need the variety that is higher in THC (not CBD) so unfortunately it does get you high.

Many people want to break it down to those two basic components, but there are a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes that work in concert to provide benefits. A lot of this is still not fully understood. 

Research has shown that it can help shrink tumors, and the "unfortunate" side effect can also be a mood enhancer, allowing severely ill patients to actually get up out of bed. When compared with the side effects from other cancer drugs it seems pretty fortunate to me.

If you live in a MMJ state I suggest at least looking into it further.


mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Reader Case Study: Twins on the Way and I Have Brain Cancer
« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2015, 05:55:22 PM »
Maybe I phrased that incorrectly but I hadn't actually  even thought about how you interpreted my comments.  I'm going to call SS and get this confirmed along with some other things but it's nice to know before calling. Are you saying that if I were to pass before my kids were born that they would still be entitled to the monthly SS benefit? Thanks.

Based on this: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OP_Home/rulings/oasi/53/SSR68-22-oasi-53.html

Your unborn kids, conceived prior to your death, with your wife will be eligible for survivor benefits if you pass before they are born.  I still could call to SS anyway to triple check.