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A new theme here. If we're all going to live into our 90s, a serious attempt to protect one's own capital needs to be made. Because you're not going to get anything from your parents, and Social Security is -- well, two words. Grover Norquist.

It occurs to me, scrubbing the almost inchoate filth off my mother's elegant MOMA kitchen timer, that I would have liked to have done this when I was about 35 years old. To protect myself from having to get a job in my sixties and work until I can no longer.



Get your parent long term care insurance, whether or not you have to pay for it yourself. It costs me $400+ a quarter, and if my mother had had it, would have saved me personally $250K. My father's nonage and death cost about the same. An honest insurance broker will offer you five or six different options.

Get your parent's home, if that is where they live, inspected by an honest and reliable house inspector (Angie's List, subscribe, or ask your real estate agent) every couple of years and make the repairs, whether or not you have to pay for them. It will save you $40K in cat piss and cockroach repair when you have to sell it.

My mother wouldn't let anybody into the house, including the cockroach spray guy. There was a dementia quotient, as well as a fear of being ripped off. And the serious financial liability this causes can be ameliorated if you get an inspection every couple of years from somebody who has no vested interest in repair or remodel or ripping off old people.

It would have been financially sane for them to come to live with me and in-home help. Both of them refused to do this, my father because he wanted to maintain his sex life, and my mother because she liked to blast the TV instead of getting hearing aids. These are insane reasons, and I should have pushed them both much, much harder.

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purejuice

January 2012

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