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  • Writer's pictureRuth-Ann E. Toups

Don't Spend Your Retirement on Mom's Nursing Home

Mom and Dad saved for retirement. Each month, they diligently contributed. After they retired, they received social security and even a modest pension from Dad’s company. The early years of retirement were wonderful. Then, Dad got sick.

Mom and Dad spent a lot of their retirement savings on Dad’s hospital bills and, eventually, on an aide to come into their home. When Dad passed, you, your sister, and Mom gathered around the kitchen table and evaluated Mom and Dad’s finances. Most of their retirement savings had been spent, and Mom would receive less income now that Dad was gone. If she stayed at home and you and your sister pitched in she could make it work. Things were manageable for a few months, until they weren’t.

Mom couldn’t stay home alone anymore. For a month you spent every evening and weekend searching for someplace where Mom could feel comfortable and could afford. The options were slim, but you found a place. Mom could afford to live there for a year. That was a fast year.

Once again, you found yourself and your sister huddled around the kitchen table evaluating Mom’s finances. What can we do? Mom can’t live alone, and she can’t pay for her care. You and your sister agree to pitch in. How will you do that? You have a kid in college and another one headed there soon. The only choice is to start dipping into your own retirement savings.

You start withdrawing money from your own retirement to pay for Mom’s care each month. While the amount is small at first it increases seemingly every month as Mom’s needs increase. Eventually you start to wonder about your own care. Will your children be forced to care for you? How will you pay for your care when you are using your retirement to pay for Mom’s care?

Too many families live this story: children pay for their parents care by using their own retirement savings. Don’t use your retirement to pay for Mom’s care. An elder law attorney can help you plan in case your Mom outlives her money. They can sit down with you at the kitchen table and develop a plan for preserving her resources while allowing for the best care possible. The earlier you seek the advice of an attorney the more effective their plan can be. Don’t spend your retirement on Mom’s nursing home care!

Do you need help making a plan for Mom? Call The Toups Law Firm, PLLC today at (832) 761-5107.

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