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Changing of the seasons

August 27th, 2015 at 07:36 pm

And, no, I am not talking about summer into fall (though I won't mind it when it arrives!).

Instead as Lucky Robin pointed out this month, once you get all your debts paid off, finding that push to keep you going forward is harder and harder for some. It is/was for me as well (check my 2/20/2014 entry). Instead I have decided to work on other pressing items. In my case, one of them has been my mother and her finances. A widow now, the only person to work with her on her finances will be me (only child), and now is the time to do it while she still has all her faculties (and is amenable to doing it).

So in that vein, in the past few months I have been working with her on taking care of things she has left go for way too long. Things like updating her will, removing her deceased husband from all her accounts and title to house and cars, getting me access to her accounts (in case I need to pay bills for her), rearranging her IRAs (from a bank to a brokerage), getting her paperwork in one place so I know where it all is, finding out who was going to be her estate's executor (She had me listed as such - Thanks mom for not telling me! Frown ), setting up power of attorney, and the list keeps going....

Its nice to see that while she isn't rich, it looks like she shouldn't ever be in poverty either. She's healthy, and given the age her mother died, it should be 20+ years before I will need to use alot of what I am setting up now. But knowing that things have been taken care of will certainly help going forward.

OK, I've taken care of her finances, dealt with the girlfriend's finances.... what do I need to work on next? Hmmmmmm.....

4 Responses to “Changing of the seasons”

  1. VS_ozgirl Says:

    There will always be someone who could use some help, until then maintain things as they are and focus on other areas of your life that could use some work? (That's what I would do)

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    Kudos for taking care of this stuff now before there is a crisis.

    My mother also seemed to be modestly "all set" for her advancing years, but after her dementia diagnosis and move to assisted living, all that changed. Just be forewarned. We're paying $5850 a month, and that appears to be on the low end of the scale based on talks with many different people.

    If she has brokerage accounts, you probably know that beneficiaries named in those accounts will bypass/supercede whatever the will says, so be sure she has named beneficiaries on each and all accounts.

    It's also important to make sure your mother withdraws at least the minimum required distribution (RMD) from any traditional IRA accounts so she isn't penalized, assuming she's past age 70.5.

    Not sure what you mean by getting access to her accounts, but I found it has been most helpful to have had my name added to my mother's checking account as a joint owner. Each utility, credit card issuer, etc is going to want to see a copy of your POA, just FYI, and brokerages will be even tougher, requiring you to fill out special forms, which I didn't have time to deal with. My mother already had pre-existing brokerage accounts without online registration, so I simply set up the online registration and was free to move money to her checking to pay the bills as needed.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    As far as what comes next, if you can afford to swing long-term care insurance, get it now.

  4. Single Guy Says:

    Here is an update to the questions.

    Beneficiaries are set on the IRAs. I am working with her to get beneficiaries set on the remainder, though this could take some months for her to get around to it all. I believe she is already dealing with RMDs on the traditional IRAs, but it would be good for me to bring that up with her to be sure. And I had already talked with her about putting me as joint owner on her accounts. She said she would do it, but I'll need to check in the coming months.

    And as far as long term care insurance, every time I have researched it, I found it was not worth it as far as I was concerned. I have read on retirement forums where this was discussed, most people have come to the conclusion it was not worth purchasing. YMMV

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