Emergency Financial Assistance For Fixed Income Senior Parents : The Saturday Weekend Review #237

emergency financial assistance for fixed income senior parents

ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS TO DO IS WATCH THE HEALTH AND WEALTH OF YOUR PARENTS DETERIORATE AS THEY AGE

 

One minute you can be fine with your money and the next you’re on the verge of disaster and in desperate need of financial assistance. Not everyone will admit to needing financial help because they are too proud but there comes a point where thinking about the best options is better than what something might cost down the road if other things start going wrong.

It is not just the young folks who seek help with financial assistance, debt problems and health care. There are always seniors who keep themselves hidden away or placed in old-age retirement homes because they simply can’t do what they used on their own. That or they can’t afford it.

Having senior parents who are living on a fixed income, small pensions and old-age security from government savings with no other savings apart from small work pensions can be heartbreaking. Although owning a house is good it may not yield enough to take care of them in retirement.

I know many of you might say that it’s their problem for not saving money for these years but no one predicted illness, work accidents and risk gone bad. Critical illness insurance and other financial life-lines such as RRSP’s and now Tax Free Savings Accounts are heavily marketed early on to get people ready for unforeseen problems and future expenses.

 

Take Risks with a back-up plan

 

There are people who are willing to risk it all to become successful which Mrs. CBB’s parents did until it all came crashing down on them. They lost over a million dollars in property, business and cash and struggled to find a home to live in with bad credit to their name.

Over the years they pulled out all the stops to manage their finances including credit cards, bank and personal loans. It was the personal loan that went belly up and he came in to claim his new kingdom. This all happened after illness and a work related injury that put her father off the employment map.

There he was young and helpless and stuck in a system that nobody and I mean nobody wants to meet.  Insurance.

Once they secured a house and moved on with their lives both of their health deteriorated further with her father sinking the most. If it wasn’t his heart it was diabetes, leg issues, breathing and so on.

We both agree that taking the massive amounts of medications likely attributed to the ongoing problems but also saved his life. There’s always hell waiting on the side of freedom. Once you get their it’s hard to get back over the fence alive and well. He never had a health break apart from living in this world full of pain and suffering.

Although he fights the battle he keeps up with his hobbies slowly around the house and works with his wife to get as much as they can done.

What’s the problem then?

They don’t have savings as they are living pay to pay which is fine most months until something breaks down and they can’t afford to fix it. Currently they need a roof and with a few estimates they are looking at around $8000 which they don’t have. Even if the kids bought the shingles and did the work themselves it was still run pretty near $3000 which seems a bit more manageable.

The other problem is that the problems never end especially when you are a homeowner without the money to maintain your house. There is no financial assistance for seniors apart from what income they have and possibly family members who are willing to help them out.

 

Care for Seniors

 

When seniors get to the point of being unable to do things on their own due to health reasons someone has to jump in or something has to change. In this case the house is too large as is the property and eventually there will be a for sale sign because they just can’t keep up with it all.

The past 2 weeks we’ve spent countless hours working on the house, garden and landscaping all the while looking after my in-laws. It’s times like this when you look at your parents and realize they are still so young but life is killing them. They had a good start in life and then everything went against them from the moment they said go.

 

Too Proud To Ask For Financial Assistance

 

Each time we visit we see things around the house that are in need of repair but there is no money to get these jobs done. I’m always doing something around the house whether it’s wiring new electrical, lawn mowing and fixing anything that’s broken or needs tightening.

My in-laws would never ask for financial assistance and always want to pay us money for anything we do for them. The answer is always, No. We don’t want their money. Mrs. CBB grew up in a home that struggled badly and she knows what it’s like to live in poverty which is why she busted her butt in school and working to save money. She didn’t want to end up like her parents because it’s a dark place to be.

Helping family financially for us meant that we did it from the heart because we knew it had to get done. Although we are debt free it was a no-brainer to jump in but even if we weren’t we’d still do all that we can. Our parents mean the world to us because they brought us up, kept us fed, clothed and with a roof over our heads. There is no plausible reason we would need to tell them that we won’t help.

 

Emergency Savings

 

Having money tucked away for a rainy day is NOT new rather the name has just changed from extra cash to emergency savings. Although some people laugh off the emergency savings idea it has come in handy on more than one occasion for our family.

In this instance our senior parents needed it more than we did and we extend our savings to them because it’s the right thing to do. Selling their property would be ideal but with both being ill at the moment all the kids are pitching in to help one way or another.

 

Helping Your parents as they age

 

As our parents begin to age their mind and memory may start to deteriorate which is what is happening here. It’s nice to have children drop by the house to take my Mother-in-law out for coffee or grocery shopping. She enjoys walks on the beach and chatting to people other than her husband. She’s home with him 24/7 which is very demanding on her physically and mentally since quitting her job to care for him.

In the 2 weeks that we were around the house we put a huge dent in our budget but Mrs. CBB and I are VERY happy that our parents are happy. Although they offered to pay us back the money we spent we told them to save it for a rainy day or take some time to go out for dinner together.

 

Financial Assistance doesn’t always equal money

 

Every day it seemed I was getting a phone call from Mrs. CBB saying something was broken or needed to be fixed. The part to remember is that not everything you need to help with will cost you money. The help you give saves money so they can save it for something else they will need.

Example: I rewired an outlet which is fairly easy since my father taught me basic electrical skills as a retired electrician. Had my Father-in-law called in a tradesman for repair he would have seen well over a $100 charge for this service. Now he can take that money and put it towards something else.

All of these expenses will fall under miscellaneous in our budget because they are random items we never planned to pay for in the first place. We have the money and so it puts a little ding in our budget, big deal. When we have the means to offer financial assistance we certainly wouldn’t walk away.

  • $125 to get Air Conditioning back up and running. Called in a  favour from a friend who drove 2 hours to help out at cost.
  • $90 cash to fix an annoying leaking bathroom tub faucet.
  • $500 for all new blinds in the house installed by yours truly.
  • Carpet cleaning for the entire house $100
  • Eating out and coffees while out and about
  • $175 for a $4000 medical assistance bed (jaw-dropping deal I found)
  • Air Duct Cleaning $140
  • Mattress disposal $20
  • Installed new queen bed frame and 2 mattresses we had in storage at our house.

So we spent just under $1000 to help get them back on their feet with repairs around the house and we helped wash all the walls. We also scrubbed the floors since my mother-in-law can’t bend any longer. We also offered to give them our second lawn-mower as the one they have nearly killed me when I used it. I couldn’t imagine the strength my mother-in-law had to put in every 2 weeks for hours cutting grass.

I’m certain we made them very happy with tears in their eyes. Mrs. CBB’s father pulled her aside as they were walking to the vehicle to say we didn’t have to do all of this. She replied to him with her hand around his shoulders, “Dad I’ve worked my entire life because I knew you’d both need me just like I needed you”. Besides, they gave us a tonne of vegetables for free every year so we couldn’t complain about that.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget all the things our parents did for us growing up especially when we go on to have our own families and are building dreams. The past two weeks have eye-opened our world, drained us and delivered lots of love and arguments but we wouldn’t change it for the world.

If you are unable to offer financial assistance to those you love and could use the help perhaps offering your services or even an ear to talk to would make a world of difference.

Discussion Question: Have you ever helped your parents out with financial assistance?

 

Another Week At The CBB House

 

We’ve tried and I use that word loosely to catch up on housework, bills, budgets and home renovations the past week. With my wife being away with her parents and myself driving back and forth and working it’s taking a toll on all of us but thankfully the outcome was positive. The good news is he is home now thanks to some amazing doctors and nurses who worked round the clock for him.

I spent hours chopping and prepping vegetables for the freezer after picking loads of organic produce from my in-laws garden. Since the plan was to make crushed tomatoes for sauce throughout the year tomatoes made more of a splat on the ground as no one was around to keep up eating or picking them.

Now that we’ve harvested as much as we could I’ve made sure it has been frozen so we can enjoy the bounty and hard work of our in-laws. I’m hoping next summer they take the garden and make it much smaller since their health isn’t the greatest.

Other than that I’ve eaten more cabbage rolls than I care to remember but they were VERY GOOD. I should have a recipe for you on the blog soon. My first time making them too with supervision and suggestions from the Mrs.

Now I have to focus on Fall clean-up, buying mattresses for our son whom we bought a new bed for and everything else in between. Oh, and buy some pumpkins to carve with the little guy. Almost Halloween… 🙂

How was your week?

Mr.CBB

 

CBB Published Posts

 

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Contact me for more info at canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.ca or you can find me on Twitter (@Canadianbudgetb), Google Plus, Facebook, Tumblr, Stumble Upon, Flipboard.

Top Post This Week: How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be?

 

Top Finance Weekly Read

 

Over at The Wealthy Accountant who spills the beans about all things accounting and money management he touches on a subject that everyone should read. Are you asking the wrong questions?

If you want to grow sometimes the best way is to ask questions for everything that is burning in your mind. In this blog post you’ll read 7 Important Questions that Rich People Ask Their Accountant. It’s amazing how many people don’t ask about how to optimize the money they earn.

The lower-income/net worth crowd focused questions around: How fast? How cheap? What’s my refund? and, When does my refund arrive? None of these questions helps clients one bit.

 

Making a difference (MAD) 2017

 

Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

Welcome to the 2017 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world.

If you are a personal finance blogger and would like your blog to be featured simply drop me an email. I’m currently booking November/December 2017-4 spots left. Don’t be shy get in contact with me today!

Dirt Cheap Wealth

Hi Mr.CBB and Readers,

In a million years (imagine, if I could possibly live that long!), I never thought I would write about personal finance/budgets/investing strategies/smart saving. Why? Because I never paid much importance to the financial aspect of my life. I thought that it would take care of itself.

Until it didn’t.

Lucky for me, my husband is and always has been a saver, who also taught me a lot of budgeting, investing and planning for the future. Once I whiffed the smell of saving money, there was no looking back. It became my fascination, and I knew that the strategies I learnt through self education, research and via comprehensive conversations with experts in their field, would benefit so many people out there. So, I started my blog, Dirt Cheap Wealth.

What I don’t write about: coupon clipping, frugality, pinching pennies.

What I absolutely love writing about: expansion of the financial mindset, wealth generation ideas, smart saving relevant to current times, and money motivation.

My posts typically challenge the norm of what we are “supposed” to be doing financially, and instead discusses ideas on how we can create strong and reliable financial future.

Through this blog, I hope to inspire working moms/couples/millennials to take responsibility for their money decisions, accept that each of us is equipped to save and learn simple ways yet powerful ways to build their wealth.

So, welcome to Dirt Cheap Wealth, an unconventional, non-BS blog for the financially curious.

Thank you!

 

Brag Of The Week

 

Send me your brag to canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.ca every brag whether posted on CBB or not gets an entry into a yearly draw for gift cards or cash!!! It’s that easy.

 

Hi Mr.CBB,

I have looked for a bread box for months. I’ve seen decorative metal ones for $50 but certainly didn’t want to pay anything close to that.

I scooped up this brand new bamboo bread bin at Value Village today for only $10. Google search shows it listed at $64 so I am really pleased.

Pat

 

 

CBB Words of Wisdom

 

do something good for someone who cant pay you back quote

 

Top Chef Recipe Pick

 

Apple-Crumb-Pie-1Apple Crumb Pie, made with fresh apples and a scrumptious brown sugar crumble topping, a delicious dessert. My family’s favorite apple pie recipe!

 

I’m a huge fan of any type of dessert that has apples included in it especially during Autumn when the temperature starts to change outside as do the leaves on the trees.

There’s something heartwarming about the smell of apples and spice flowing through the house that makes this recipe my top pick of the week.

Apple Crumb Pie from Adventures Of Mel is certainly one to add to your ‘must-make’ baking list.

 

 

DIY Weekly

 

In this video by Gillian Bower you will see 3 DIY Budget-Friendly Halloween crafts that are so cool.

  • The Balloon Spider Web- (we’re making this)
  • Tea Candle Spiders
  • Creepy Handless Glove

 

Saturday Search Term Giggles

 

Always begin and end your day with a SMILE!- Mr.CBB

Every week I get tens of thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. (SIC) means I’ve copied the text exactly and it has spelling errors.

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

  • What to do when your husband spends too much money?– Tell him he needs to get a second job and things will change.
  • Sample Budgets for Low Income– Um, a budget is a budget.
  • Sexy Porn Photo– Wrong website. BUDGET not BUTTget
  • What does “Not For Resale” mean in Canada- Oh gee!! It really doesn’t get any clearer.
  • Microwave Pork Rinds- Oh like Microwave Popcorn.

That’s all the fun for this week, thanks for dropping by and we’ll see you all again next Saturday.

Mr.CBB

Don’t forget to Follow me on Social Media and Subscribe to the blog.

Hey…if you see any mistakes let me know. I’m not an editor just a guy who likes to write and yes I make mistakes.

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Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB was born and raised in the United Kingdom who then moved to Canada where he is a permanent resident. He recently became a father to a very busy toddler who allows him to be a kid at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 after University and his second at the age of 24. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are Debt and Mortgage Free and they did it all in under 5 years using a Budget. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where he shares their financial experiences with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. Welcome to CBB!
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. ann lee s says:

    I had an early heart attack at 59, when recovered I chose to “organize my affairs” so it would not have to be done during a time of high stress. It took me almost 6 months to do what I wanted to do, POAs, Health contract, will, formalities at death, directions and receipts for it all (I chose to pre-pay my very simple care after death) all written out and tied in a pink file folder for my children. I try to keep it updated occasionally and for sure I will have forgotten something! now, after my 75th birthday I have begun to focus on getting rid of items I don’t use so much, china to children, grandchildren, little things I’ve saved for what? like coin collection, etc, find a happy new family owner and I enjoy seeing their faces upon receipt. I can relax knowing I will not be leaving a mess for my “kids” to figure out. Highly Recommended!!!

  2. Marie-Anne Levert says:

    hi , sorry to hear of the struggles of your in laws. Family getting older and needing help is something that children and parents should plan for . unfortunately my mother now at age 89 has left a lot unprepared. Kept asking her to start planning over 15 years ago when her own mother passed away.. As her only child it is nerve wracking to keep asking for simple thing like enduring power of attorney if she becomes incapacitated, 3 hospital stays in 3 years, and if unable to run her finances to keep her home maintained, cats vet etc etc
    I cant even imagine the finantial loss and impact it will have on me with her not planning. She has a will and thats it, unless she changed info without my knowing. Something elderly people do on occasion.

    A suggestion for your in laws garden – here in Calgary there are a few groups, volunteers that look for gardens to work in to barter and share in the bounty of the fruits. It is a great way to find someone to maintain the garden and still have access to fresh veggies etc. Also helps with an extra pair of hands and eyes looking out for any needs the elderly couple might have .

  3. Good for you, Mr and Mrs CBB, for helping your parents!
    I lost both my parents to dementia, my father had early onset, my mother 10 years latee. I can’t stress enough the importance of setting up a power of attorney and a legal will before the problems start. My mother asked me to be her POA before she became ill, I was hesitant because of family problems, but she insisted.
    Years later, when she showed signs of dementia and was diagnosed, she came to me crying about “people wanting money”. I immediately contacted her lawyer who instructed me to go to the bank ASAP with the POA papers. Soon found out that 1 sibling and several grandchildren asked for “loans” totalling over 40,000$. I asked them to please return the $ as she will need it, needless to say they were very angry and haven’t spoken to me since, nor returned it.
    Between 2 parents in long-term care facilities, their retirement fund was pretty well emptied, but there was just enough.
    So please don’t think this would never happen to you, it does, all the time. Just ask the workers in a nursing home.!

  4. I just went through the process of “getting his affairs in order” with my father. He had a heart emergency which made him see that we finally needed to get things organized and up to date. My father is 83 and is widowed. He had no savings but luckily his wife (my stepmother) had a pension that has survivor benefits. I didn’t know a lot about his financial circumstances but I was concerned about his will because he has a Henson trust provision for his one son (who is in his 30s). I finally got my father to agree to sit down with a lawyer to review his will etc. I found a lawyer familiar with Henson trusts and arranged an initial meeting which I attended along with his 2 sons. A lot of questions came up that my father couldn’t answer about his finances so we went away from the meeting with some “homework”. This exposed an impending financial crisis that became the priority. Estate planning was the least of our concerns. All of this to say that I had to “get all up on his business” which was very uncomfortable and caused some conflicts. But I am glad all of this is coming out NOW not after he has passed away or worse, he has fallen into financial chaos. It is very difficult and involves all of the things he mentioned: medical conditions, property maintenance, conflicts with siblings, and, the most difficult, my father having to discuss all of this in the context of facing his own mortality. We are certainly not done but I think we have at least exposed all the potential issues and are working on creating plans to deal with them. Its hard to do but imagine dealing with the fallout of not knowing at the same time as dealing with his death. I am calling the process a fire drill for life in which we figure out what needs to be done in the event of his death or illness so that when it happens everyone knows what to do. That’s why real fire drills are done; so that weaknesses can be identified in advance and so that when a real emergency happens, everyone can follow the plan in a calm and organized manner.

    • Very true Susan about the fire drills. There has been so much going on right now on our end that it has opened up lots of weaknesses that we hope to fix. Luckily our inlaws have a Will as we have a lawyer in the family but we still worry. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Hi. I just went through the process of “getting his affairs in order” with my father. He had a heart emergency which made him see that we finally needed to get things organized and up to date. My father is 83 and is widowed. He had no savings but luckily his wife (my stepmother) had a pension that has survivor benefits. I didn’t know a lot about his financial circumstances but I was concerned about his will because he has a Henson trust provision for his one son (who is in his 30s). I finally got my father to agree to sit down with a lawyer to review his will etc. I found a lawyer familiar with Henson trusts and arranged an initial meeting which I attended along with his 2 sons. A lot of questions came up that my father couldn’t answer about his finances so we went away from the meeting with some “homework”. This exposed an impending financial crisis that became the priority. Estate planning was the least of our concerns. All of this to say that I had to “get all up on his business” which was very uncomfortable and caused some conflicts. But I am glad all of this is coming out NOW not after he has passed away or worse, he has fallen into financial chaos. It is very difficult and involves all of the things he mentioned: medical conditions, property maintenance, conflicts with siblings, and, the most difficult, my father having to discuss all of this in the context of facing his own mortality. We are certainly not done but I think we have at least exposed all the potential issues and are working on creating plans to deal with them. Its hard to do but imagine dealing with the fallout of not knowing at the same time as dealing with his death. I am calling the process a fire drill for life in which we figure out what needs to be done in the event of his death or illness so that when it happens everyone knows what to do. That’s why real fire drills are done; so that weaknesses can be identified in advance and so that when a real emergency happens, everyone can follow the plan in a calm and organized manner.

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