Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Powerball or bust!

We are now in the search for a facility for my mother. More big fun!

First up for consideration: does the place pass the sniff test? It may sound crass, but it's a critical test. If the place smells of urine or worse, you can be sure it means that some resident or residents aren't being changed with sufficient frequency. This means that your loved one will join the ranks of those not being changed with sufficient frequency. Can you live with that? Didn't think so.

Next, we must consider the availability of needed services. My mother's needs changed rather dramatically three or so weeks ago, whereas before May 6, she was quite independent, since May 6 she hasn't been. She now needs 24 hour care and supervision. So it is with this aging, things change in a heartbeat.

As we seek out a place, we have to ascertain whether the organization under consideration has the staff capacity to support Mummy's needs. Can they do it? What will it cost? The matter of whether or not, and how well they'll do it comes later. First you have to know whether they have the capacity to do it at all.

Third and finally, we must consider the cost. One place that was recommended to us costs a whopping $8,300 each and every blessed month. Now, I don't know about anyone else's retirement planning, but Mummy's does not run to an extra $8,000. Does anyone's? I would be intrigued to know how the folks currently resident in that facility are paying for it. Were they all independently wealthy? Oh, and BTW, that eight grand?, that's the starting price. Memory care units typically cost more. Yup.

Having heard some of the numbers, I have determined that all my advice is BS. Don't get long term care, don't save, don't try. It's pointless. There is no earthly way you can manage these costs unless you're independently wealthy. There is simply no way.

Certainly, the LTC plan will take the brunt of the hit. LTC will take the sting out of the price tag but it's still going to hurt. Plenty. Even so, LTC plans have upper limits. They are not inexhaustible pools of capital that go on as long as life shall last. When we first started claiming against Mummy's policy, every payment statement that came to me contained the following line at the bottom, "You have used up $x,yyy of your $xxx,yyy lifetime maximum." True, it is a six figure maximum but if you go to a place that costs $8,300 a month, $xxx,yyy will run down to $0.00 right quick, I am here to tell you.

So I think I've changed my mind. Don't do anything. Don't save. Don't buy clothes on clearance (as I do). Don't scrimp and squeeze the pennies. It's pointless. Unless you're rich, you cannot manage.

powerball photo: Powerball PowerBall.jpg
Starting from my next posting maybe I'll give advice on how to win the Powerball because it really looks like that's the only way to make this thing work.

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