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A decidedly pleasant and nondrama SpermLand visit with the IL clan.

Rags's picture

DW flew out Wed AM at the butt crack of dawn to spend some time with my MIL. As usual, DW did not just see her mom, she crammed in time with anyone and everyone immaginable.  Though at least this time she did not exhaust herself doing it.  I flew to SpermLand Friday evening. DW and MIL picked me up at the airport and we headed the 2hrs south back toward DW's small town, dropped MIL of at her sister's house to pick up her car about 20miles from the small town my IL clan lives in.

BIL1, his bovine bride, and their family hosted an openhouse to celebrate MIL's 70th Bday on Saturday.  Surprisingly pleasant.  31 of the 39 people envited attended.  All of MILs kids and their families (except for my SS) were present.  So 8 of her 9 GKs were there.  All of the kids were remarkably well behaved, everyone was engaging, happy, and pleasant.

After the bovine bride shit storm at Thanksgiving, I was ready for hell on earth.

After the openhouse the whole family went to a local Mex restaurant. Decent food, lots of laughter and happy family timed

On Suday DW and I got up, had breakfast in the hotel then went to MIL's to spend the day with her. We loaded up and took a peasant hour long drive to a town in the valley and had an amazing lunch at a Mediteranian food place at a boutique houtel.  The best Med/Middle Eastern food I have had since leaving the Middle East. 

After lunch we walked the downtown shopping district.  DW and MIL were shopping for babies (BIL2's youngest who is about to turn 1yo and my STB born grandniece).  I did a sneak purchase of a purple purse for my MIL.  She is a fiend for purple.  I slipped it to DW as we were walking to the next stores. DW asked MIL if she needed a bag to put her purchases in, and handed MIL the purse and told her "Happy Mother's Day.".   Tears commenced.  Hugs and I love you's were flying everywhere. 

Part of the discussions on Sunday were about MIL and her sister combining households. DW's aunt had a stroke almost a year ago and has progressive weakening in her walk and one arm.  Her home is entirely unsuited for a stroke victim. Elevated entry stairs in the front and the back.  MIL's house is perfect. Dirt level entry from front and back. MIL floor plan that would allow for two remodeled master suites one for each of them and a central open concept kitchen/dining/living room.  I recommended that they consider Aunt selling her home in the nearby city, buying a half interest in MIL's home and they use that money to remodel so the can age in place and be there for each other. Neither is fit and living alone is a risk for both of them.  One end of the house is the MBR, a common bathroom, and another BR. THe other is a BR and the single car garage. My engineeric though not construction calibrated eyeball assessment forcasts a reasonably easy remodel.  I also recommended that they build a 2car garage in the backyard with entry from the side street to keep their cars out of the weather so they can access them via a covered breezeway.  

MIL was taking notes. Hopefully she can have a sit down with her sister and present the idea.

It was strange to have a non drama experience with my IL clan.

Hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come.

Getting DW home without heartbreak and tears was a huge triumph.


ESMOD's picture

I'm so glad you all had a pleasant, productive and drama free visit.

On the "aging in place" front.  I actually think that what they are thinking about doing could be a great help to a lot of older people who find themselves single.. and have friends or relatives in similar circumstances.

My father is aging in place at 94.  He lives alone..and has (probably) obviously outlived most of his immediate family and friends anywhere near his generational age.  

It is EXPENSIVE.  We are using a woman who coordinates a care team that ranges from 17-25/hour. I have heard that in our local area that the more corporate version is around 35/hour.  It wasn't as big of a deal when my father needed care just during daylight hours.. but he now needs someone to be there 24/7.. He paid almost $200K for the caregivers last year.  My father has some means.. but clearly that is outpacing his pension and social security.  That is JUST caregiving.. that doesn't include his other household expenses.. taxes.. homeowner's insurance.. utilities.. groceries etc.. Fortunately his home is paid for at this point.. but even with a decent pension.. he is going into his investments going forward.    

Had he had someone else to share the service with he could have saved a significant amount of money over the past 5 years.. but there was no one that would have fit that bill for him.. and his home is actually not a great fit for anyone else to be there.. there are 3 bedrooms.. but only one on the "main level".. which is where my dad's room is.

If they go this route.. they should probably work out the ownership percentages.. and what will happen when the first one passes.. and then what happens when the 2nd does.

Perhaps the cost of bringing the home up to their needs will match the equity your MIL has in the home.. but if not. .they need to figure out what interest she currently has.. what it will cost to bring the home to a better standard for them to stay there.. and there could be some difference in sharing obligation for care.. depending on if one of them is more well off I guess.  

But in the end.. they need to be sure they look forward to scenarios like one of them passing.. one of them needing to go into long term care.. because they need medical assistance they can't get at home.. dementia care etc.. If they will want to rely on medicare.. how does that work if one actually needs to go into a nursing home at some point.

I know many people have this idea.. oh.. I will get old.. die in my sleep.. but sometimes it doesn't work out the way we plan.

Maybe some kind of trust arrangement might protect it from the govt trying to sell it if one needs care?  IDK.. they should get legal support on this from someone who truly knows the system.

Lillywy00's picture

From what I understand Medicare covers a small portion of nursing home, inhome type care then some people opt for long-term care insurance (to avoid full out of pocket) in order to fill in the gaps of what Medicare doesn't cover 

Depends on the type of Medicare plan / coverage 

These convos are interesting because most people don't think about this stuff until they absolutely have to and it's good to prepare as much as possible 

ESMOD's picture

There are dire consequences if you don't plan... they can take the home to cover the cost of your care.. if you have nothing.. sure.. they will put you there.. but a lot of people find the family home goes awa.

There are lookback rules... I think 5 years. .and exceptions.. but knowing what the deal is is very important.

Rags's picture

I believe 5yrs is correct. We addressed this with my GM under advice of our attorney when we divided her assets after the sale her home and we moved her to our location.  The goal was to lock it away from the Gov't as early as possible so we could use it for her care and improved quality of life rather than the Gov't morons wasting it in her supposed best interests.

We would rotate paying her care facility every month covering the costs above what  her SSI and Medicare would cover.  SSI and Medicare were paid directly to the care facility parent company.  It worked out great.  It all went for her care and quality of life,  while the Gov't got shit for nothing. As it should be.

Rags's picture

It sounds as if your father's situation is very similar to my GM's and her 2nd DH's end of life situation.  They stayed in their home until my GM had her pacemaker replaced on a warranty recall.  They, my aunt, and my mom decidied that the timing of that procedure was the right time to transition to a age in place retirement community.  GM lasted a month after that. She was ready. She basically just checked out. She was 90.  Her DH transitioned back to my GM's home and lasted about 6mos passing at 96. 

In  hindsight, it likely would have been better if GM had just stayed in her home.

As for MIL and her sister.  Her sister is well off.  I advised a buy in analysis for MIL's sister to be co-owner. However, I did not consider the government attachment if one of the other of them has to go into assisted living.  We did consider that with my other GM.

Thanks for reminding me.

I hope your dad is doing well.  94 and still at home is a good run.

ESMOD's picture

Thanks Rags.. we are fortunate that my dad has for the most part been a healthy person with no real issues except for a few illnesses in the past 5 years (flu pnemonia type).  He is on zero medication.

He actually is in hospice.. and has been for over a year.. due to falling very ill last february and getting admitted when he went home because they were noting congestive heart failure and he needed some medical monitoring.. 

now.. over a year later.. still in hospice.. but his health has rebounded a bit.. but he is slowly getting weaker and truly needs the 24 hour caregivers since he does require assistance for most every part of his life now.  

Mentally he is still sharp.. we are in communication daily.. and he is well versed on public events.. follows in the news court cases as he was a Jag lawyer in the Army.. 

I kind of joke that yeah.. my dad is in hospice.. but I don't expect him to die any time "soon".. but if it happens. I would not totally not be shocked.. he is old and frail at this point.. and every time he has a setback.. he loses some health that just doesn't fully rebound.  But my dad is a very pragmatic man.. he feels he has had a good life. .is not necessarily afraid of dying.. he knows it will happen sooner rather than later.. and he is at peace with it.. but is living until that happens.

Rags's picture

What an incredible life adventure your dad has lived. Please thank him for his service for me.  I would relish the opportunity to talk current and historic events with him.

CLove's picture

That sounds amazing! And they get along too. 

Ive long felt (esp as a childless woman) that women need to band together and support each other during those really hard times and as we age and lose abilities we are used to having. Why NOt a graceful exit?

Rags's picture

I think that they would thrive and the MIL plan house format that my MIL's home already has without a single stair anywhere is ideal to update for them both.  They are sisters, they get along.  Though both are hard headed and stuborn.

DW's aunts stroke a year ago has highlighted the upside to the model I have recommended since FIL passed 6yrs ago.  Aunt's DH died about 4 years before my FIL passed.

My proposal was ignored... until it is no longer being ignored.  Sadly, it has not been considered until there is a degrading health event. Their mother had multiple strokes and passed at 70yo.  MIL so far has avoided strokes. Her sister, 68, has not.