Thursday, August 29, 2019

Does assisted living really preserve independence?

Geeta Anand offers an op-ed in the New York Times, “How not to grow old in America” and the belief that physical self-sufficiency until you die is a myth. 

The article attacks the assisted living industry, which he says offers little hands-on assistance.

However, I know that an aunt in Ohio did get bathed every morning.  She passed away there (under hospice), she never went into a nursing home.
Assisted living facilities do put Alzheimer’s patients in separate wings that are supposed to be locked.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

A tale about filial piety from Utah

Joshua Fluke has a video where he talks about his own exposure to filial responsibility.  This apparently happened in Utah.
His dad was laid off from a job after 28 years, and set up his own business in the same area.  Then the employer sued his dad into bankruptcy and eviction from his apartment, and so he took his dad in.
Then the employer fired him because they found someone cheaper, a better “deal”.
Then he lost both of his own jobs.  And more stuff happened.
The title is “Why I won’t work a developer job anymore.”

He explains how he has to live off of YouTube ads, and is making it that way. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

If you have a trust, and want to invest in a small startup, do you need to be an "accredited investor"?

Just a note about investing in a new LLC. 

I put in $100 through Wefunder in a startup Internet company I am interested in, and got an email asking if I am an accredited investor.

The qualification was a minimum net worth in assets not counting real estate, and a minimum income (AGI).  In 2015, the minimum standards were set to be gradually lessened, as the video explains.

This idea seems to matter if you have money in a trust. For qualification you count only what is really “yours” right now.  Any money you invest must have your name only, not the name of the person inherited from, as it is not yet distributed and legally belongs to the beneficiaries.  It can only be invested if approved by a committee of beneficiaries.
Later on, we'll compare this to crowdfunding. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Startup helps retirees compare financial planners in their areas

There is a new startup founded by a recent Princeton University grad, “Smartasset”, to help retirees compare financial advisers in their area.

Here is their own story
A few times, especially around 2005, I was approached by life insurance companies to train to become financial advisers, having spent 12 years with ING-Reliastar. I heard the pitch about playing golf when you wanted to. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Caregiver shortage severe in some states as immigration tightens, life spans increase

Several papers, including the Washington Post, recently carried a report on a developing critical shortage of eldercare workers, as in this story by Jeff Stein. 

The report mentions a Fitch rating for states where 20% or more of the population is over 65. 

The report states that adult children of elder parents with money and the ability to pay for care (as my mother did, especially 2009-2010 until her passing in December 2010) wind up doing it full time hands on as workers are not available.

This is especially difficult is medicine is more able to prolong life under severe disability (especially Alzheimer’s, was well as heart) than it was in previous decades. There are guidelines where hospice care starts and treatment is palliative.

It’s pretty obvious that legal immigration restrictions will reduce the supply of home health workers.
In my case, hiring agencies did very that caregivers where here legally and eligible to work.
Last night, Donald Trump told some seniors that only he could protect their social security and retirement savings, saying their 401(k)'s would disappear if he didn't get re-elected.  He also fat-shamed one person. 
Wikipedia attribution for picture of Mt. Katahdin, Maine. PD by Jan Kronsell 

Monday, August 12, 2019

What happens to an estate when no executor has accepted the job?

An eldercare and trust attorney, in a recent newsletter, notes that anyone may serve as an executor of an estate after sixty days from the death of the subject.  This situation can occur if no one has agreed to serve as executor before the death of the person.  Executors can typically collect about 6% if the value as compensation (on top of what is left to them).  Typically a counsel takes up the job and charges for it.  It’s about like real estate.

It is also said to be advisable to invite beneficiaries (when they are real persons) to the home of the deceased, if possible, to select personal items, like cookware or garments, in a fair manner.
I don’t have a named executor yet who has accepted (this has been discussed on my Wordpress channels).  But this does not seem to be critical. 

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Can doctors force seniors to stop driving? Can seniors rent cars everywhere? The moral debate over the risks for others that come with (your) "privileges"

You’re over 65 and on Medicare. (I just passed 76.)  Your doctor insists on another physical every 6-9 months to renew your blood pressure medication. Could your doctor, based on a finding, submit a report to the state causing you to lose the right to drive?

Likewise could a car rental company, when you land at an airport, refuse to rent based on age?
Nine states have laws that require physicians to report conditions that could cause driving safety issues.  In four of these, the laws encompass conditions besides the most obvious, like strokes and seizures. Eye problems would also matter, obviously.

Triblive has a report of a typical case from Pennsylvania, dating back to 2012 (link) 

There are medical conditions that might indirectly create a risk.  Some people with heart arrythmias might be more susceptible to sudden stroke, like when driving. In the long run, this creates a moral conundrum:  should seniors who are functioning well be goaded into surgeries (pacemakers or even bypass or stents) on the theory that if they continue to drive, a sudden event could cause risk for others?

In a moral sense, this is a bit like the reach of the gun control debate and the reach of the Second Amendment, because collectively gun ownership increases the risk that any random person, even in a school in an affluent area, could become a shooting victim – David Hogg’s crusade.  There is not constitutional right to drive, but there is a practical necessity to retain social independence.  I can see a parallel in the moral thinking.

I found a similar article for Canada, where the fact of single payor for everyone may influence the moral debate. 

Some countries in Europe (mostly smaller ones) impose age limits on car rental, and apparently Mexico imposes one of 75.  (Renting one there is not too good an idea anyway.) Here is Autoslash’s reference
My own mother last drove by herself in July 2009 to the Safeway and back. I allowed it, even though she had had a minor stroke and now had intermittent caregivers.  I never allowed it again. She passed away in December 2010.