How should money be spent during a senior loved one’s move? It’s very emotional and sensitive time, with parents and their adult children having different perspectives and agendas.
Rebecca Bomann, the CEO of SASH Services, and Suzanne Newman talk about these perspectives. Adult children are worried about the parents’ money lasting long enough for their care. They worry that they might have to mortgage their own home in a few years to pay for their Mom’s care. Unless parents have set aside a nest egg, it’s a concern because the cost of care is so high that proceeds from a home sale might only pay for care for a handful of years. Sometimes they don’t want their parent to sell the home because they expect that home to be there for them when their loved one passes away.
Meanwhile, what’s best for Mom in her situation? She’s alone, doesn’t see friends, needs social activities, needs medical care, the home has become too much to care for, and the home needs to be sold to fund further care. Sometimes mom intends to bequeath her home to her family, and she places her sense of duty above her own care.
Rebecca founded SASH Services (Sell a Senior Home) in 2005 as a blend of real estate, senior care, and social work to provide seniors and their families with home-sale options that are not typical, that are designed around their needs. SASH provides specialized services that lift the selling burden off the senior homeowner and their family while maximizing what can be earned from the home. SASH serves most of western Washington in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re out of state, they can steer you to a qualified professional in your area. Find more at the SASH Services website or call 888-400-SASH.
View Episode Transcript
*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following is a podcast from a qualified senior care provider, hurt, on the answers for elders radio show. And welcome to everyone. Back to answers for elders radio network. And we are here again and our final segment today and during this hour on this mother’s Day weekend, and we are very blessed to have Rebecca bumming from sash services with me as we’ve been talking about the perspectives of adult child versus senior in when it comes time to letting go of their home and it’s a very emotional time. But I have a feeling you’ve cut probably saved the most emotional part for last, Rebecca. I have you and it’s so it’s so interesting that it’s on mother’s Day because you know, we’re talking about adult children parting with money to do something for mom this weekend. So what we want to finish up on with this final segment is talking about the different perspectives between mom or dad and the adult children when it comes to how money should be spent, how money should be spent and Gosh, I know you have seen a Susanne in your in your years of experience in elder care. Money does things to families and it’s not usually very good and it’s when people come in with an agenda for what they want to see happen with mom or dad’s money and we have these different perspective. So the adult child, if we’ll start with the adult child’s perspective and then we’ll go to mom or DAD’s perspective. A lot of adult children that I talked to are very worried about mom’s money or dad’s money lasting long enough for their care. They are very worried about that. They’re worried about being put in the situation where, I think you might have experienced this and other people have talked to, where they’re going. Am I going to have to mortgage my house to pay for MOM’s care in five years when her funds have run out? Am I going to have to retire early? They’re worried about unless mom or DAD has set up a really nice nest egg, that there’s no way they can outlive this nest egg. Money’s a big concern because the cost of care is so high and so someone can sell their home and actually burned through all of the money from the sale of their home in two to three to four years. You that’s unfathomable. You spend fifty years paying it off and living there and then you spend it in two to three years of cares. That crazy. And so every time bills arrived, you know adult children are worried or there or they’re not wanting mom or dad to sell the home because they want at home to be there for them when mom or dad passed away. And meanwhile the other perspective is what is best for mom in her situation right now. She’s alone in the home, she doesn’t get to see her friend, she’s huddled into kitchen and living room in this tiny little space she lives in. She needs social activity, she needs care on a regular basis, she needs people to check on her and the home needs to be sold to do that. And it’s really hard for those two perspectives to come aligned often, right, and that’s what you often see as well. Yeah, and I think that the thing that’s really hard about it is is that the adult children often don’t fully understand the needs of our care plan of a senior right. You know, I how many times do we hear, oh, I know mom and dad are you know, they’re fine, they’re still at home and yeah, they don’t go anywhere anyway. But you know, I I talked to him, you know, a couple times a month and you know, they seem fine to me when they may not be and you may not understand. Like maybe there’s all kinds of other situations where a house becomes too much and they’re in lies. What we talked about. I know, even with the pandemic, there’s so much in the way of of how our seniors have declined in health and just because of the isolation factor, that they’re not taking the care of themselves, they’re not doing their medications properly and all those things. So when I talked to a senior, you know, off and times they’ll say, well, I want to I you know, I told my children they would inherit this house, so I can’t leave. And I’m going like well, you know, they’re in lies the challenge. Sometimes there’s seniors sons of duty or just, you know, promise their word, their integrity comes before their own pare needs, and on the other stand the the family saying, Oh yeah, well, this is how it’s going to be, because they just assume right and and really they’re not taking the most important factor into consideration, and putting it as a priority. That’s what I’m saying exactly. And and when I’m sitting in those living rooms, Suzanne, with the senior and their and their family, I’m talking to the senior, I’m not talking to their family. The seemor is my client. This is their home, this is their money, this is their equity, this is and then that will be spent the way that they want and the way that they need. And so, no matter how many I’ve said, I’ve said in a dining room, Suzanne, where I had eleven family members around me, all these kids and their spouses, and everybody’s had a different agenda for money in the home and what should happened to mom and dad. And it’s very easy for me to get through the clutter because I’m focused on who. Who is the senior who owns the home. They are the ones who’ve paid the property taxes for thirty years, they’re the ones who have bade the mortgage, they’re the ones right. This is their money. They need to use it for them, for their care and, if need be, to get a community that allows them to bring a dog, even if it’s more expensive, to get help to have a quality of life to get a new refiner when they move in. I’m not saying blow through the money. We have to be wise with it, but it’s a there’s it’s their money and they need to use it for themselves. And sometimes adult children really struggle with this because they go well, you know, I would we spend x on why and why would we do this for that and when we should be doing this? And it’s like, well, maybe they want to splurge a little bit on this. We don’t know. We don’t know, so let’s let them use their money the way that they want to and if that’s correct, it runs out and here’s that’s the beauty and and the other thing that it. You know, since we’re talking about money, those are questions that you need to ask a senior living community when you’re moving in. Is the big fiftyzero question is what happens if my mom runs out of money? Yeah, because I think a lot of times people think, you know, you’re talking about I have two years left. Well, what if mom was five years right, or ten, or five or ten right? So we had to understand that there has to be a process and is this the right fit? I didn’t ask that question when I moved my mom into assist to senior living, and what ended up happening is, through that process I had to end up moving her again to another community, which was harder on her and more expensive, because then we had to hire movers again. We had to do all these things and we had to renegotiate, obviously at higher, you know, rent right. And then again when we moved her into a one bedroom, thinking oh, she’ll be fine. Well, then she ran out of money because her care needs got so high. So guess what happened? We had to move her again to a studio, a studio. Yeah, yeah, so the whole process is that those things should be avoided if you ask the right questions, and asking that right question is if mom only had you think mom’s got, you know, for five Hundredzero, you think it’s going to be fine. Well, you think about if mom has care needs or Alzheimer’s or dementia. Guess what’s going to happen? MOM likely will run out of money. Right, and what I know her age is it is crazy. And what I encourage families to do, and I’m not saying only the adult children should do this or only the seniors, as if family they should do the math. I can’t believe how many times I sit in living rooms and I say, okay, who is done the math? How much does she need to make from her home sale? You Know How long? You know is you’re deciding. Can I afford six thousand dollars a month of care or thousand dollars a month? And a lot of seniors have reverse mortgages on their homes right and so I have actually pulled a pad of paper out Susanne in my very, you know, informal capacity, where I just get my calculator out and I say, okay, let’s do the math. If no one has done the math, someone needs to. Those provide black and white answers about what your options are, about what you can do and and so forth. So just what you said, ask the hard questions. When you’re going in interviewing these communities and you’re figuring it out, do ask the hard questions and sit down and do the math together, and that provides clarity, right, and the options and understand that if you choose to move into a community that is private pay only, that will not accept Medicaid even after a few years, that’s a consideration. Is it the right decision to move there, and that is, I guess, one of the things that I look at, you know, in the big pictures. How do you make sure that you’re doing the right thing by your loved one? And it’s really getting back to that whole piece of, you know, asking the hard questions, doing the math, making sure that their needs come first. And I exactly think that we need to having having the kind language, kind of language with each other, lots of listening and validating and using empathy and compassion where you’re navigating all these difficult decisions and a course of action that sometimes you have to change in midstream. Listen, support, be kind, be supportive as you go through it and whenever you feel like you’re getting off track, go back to the North Star of what are our goals here? Yep, our goals are to get you a good price for your home and to find an affordable place for you to live comfortably with your pet and the things that are important and the best care possible, and the best care possible who gets the spoon collection doesn’t matter in the middle of that. That doesn’t who’s going to show up for this or that specific thing. Come back to the North Star stay focused on the goals, beat good to each other and really look at everything through your aging parents perspective and that really helps well. And I’m going to just add one final clothes with this, in that is recognized that every member in the family is going to have emotional issues over this. Yes, and you may have, you made have challenges with a sibling over some things that be gentle with each other. Yes, you know, everybody is in a process, especially if your parent is the Matriarcha the Patriarch of the family. You know it can affect the whole, you know, foundational makeup of a family. So, Rebecca, how do we reach you? Website is Sash Servicescom and we also have a full service brokerage, realtycom. And thank you, Suzanne, for having me on your show. As always. Just really appreciate the opportunity. Well, and to each and every one of you who are listening, make sure you check out Rebecca’s all of her podcasts on answers for elderscom. We’re also on Itunes, on spotify, on Google, on Stitcher, Deezer, you name it. So we are so thrilled to have you on our show again and Rebecca, and to each and every one of you happy mother’s Day. A Mother’s Day and certainly know that we’re all thinking about you and sending you lots of love and gratitude for all that do for us in the memories that you’ve created. and to each and every one of you who are listening today, thanks for joining us, and be good to each other. Answers for elders radio show with Suzanne Newman. Hopes you found this podcast useful in your journey of navigating senior care. Check out more podcasts like this to help you find qualified senior care experts and areas of financial, legal, health and wellness and living options. Learn about our radio show, receive promotional discounts and meet our experts by clicking on the banner to join the Senior Advocate Network at answers for elders RADIOCOM. Now there is one place to find the answers for elders
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Originally published May 12, 2022