Monday, November 21, 2011

Money - Can't Take It With You

My grandmother just became a complete ward of the State of Massachusetts.

Grandpa died 20 years ago. She lived on her own; then at a subsidized home; then at an assisted-living facility until recently when her money ran out.

She had - I believe - 300k after selling her house not long ago. But the monthlies on her care ultimately devoured all that cash.

So now taxpayers are footing the bill, er bills, but at a lesser place than she had been at.

When my father told me how this all worked (you have whittle your accounts down to zero to gain eligibility) I was a little surprised - but only because I was completely ignorant about typical end-of-life living.

It's all really sad. My grandmother doesn't recognize anyone and has all the usual maladies of a nonagenarian. She's not just dying alone, she'll have been living alone for many, many years before leaving this world.

I mean, is this what we all have to look forward too?

She is/was a very difficult woman and there was *no chance* that she was going to live with my father or his brother. Old folk, even if moderately healthy, do need around-the-clock care - even just for incontinence and whatnot. My father said he could have conceivably taken care of (butt wipe) his father but not his mother.

But still, theoretically my grandmother could have moved-in with my parents (or uncle)....they could have hired nurses to stop by here and there....much of that money would not have gone to waste....AND taxpayers could have been spared.

Obviously if they didn't have this *welfare* state those people that can afford their own end-of-life care would pay for it themselves - and the money would be spent a whole lot more efficiently. People would simply figure it out, as they did for thousands of years before the tyranny of Big Government entitlements.

And dotage might not be so lonely...


Anonymous said...

you have a talent for writing, have you considered writing books on homeschooling.

you know we need some literature in homeschooling curriculum/expertise.

Its also a good way to become "expert" and show up on few MSM news shows. Helps your website.

CaptiousNut said...

Hi anon,


I am indeed working on writing up the curricula and methods I have used.

But be on the MSM??? Yuck!

The web is a better medium to reach the literate *remnant* I intent to preach to.

I will tell parents to *read books*. Color TV soundbytes are for shallow thinkers, i.e. SHEEP.

DA said...


I recently learned about certain annuities that allow conversation of "non-exempt" assets (those you have to spend before the gov'mint steps in) to "exempt" status. I don't know all details but do know that they exist. Instead of spending all your dough on care, you preserve it. Of course, that just means a greater burden on the taxpayers.

I suppose that's the beauty of our system. You get to look out for yourself on someone else's dime! But at least you're in control ...

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic but:
The sad part (to me anyway) is that it seems like a large number of people are spending a large number of their final years in a state of oblivion.
Their mental capabilities are long gone and [typically] their physical capabilities as well. They are alive but you have to be generous with the definition of life to say that.
It seems like an awful fate whether you're at home being cared for by relatives or in an institution.
I wonder: has it always been so? Or, has medical science succeeded in extending "life" without extending the sentience that makes it worthwhile?

CaptiousNut said...

Medical science has indeed succeeded in extending the length of life and most seem to agree that it did so at the expense of the *quality* of life.

But isn't it arrogant for us to stand in judgment of what *quality living* really is?

I've read that before people die scientists(!) have actually measured them achieving euphoric states. Perhaps a long-suffering senility is worth it for just that?

BTW, your comment was ON-topic. This is precisely the subject at hand.

CaptiousNut said...


Yes there are easy ways to preserve assets and beat the system. The key is to start divesting early. Massachusetts only looks at your last 5 years' records - I believe.

Although a lot of old people (including my grandmother) are understandably not comfortable with forking over their life savings to would-be heirs.

Hah! Annuities are such a rip the Morons who bought them ought to get a special pass on this one.

Anonymous said...

Arrogant for us to stand in judgment of quality living?
You're right: we can't really judge the quality and who knows if that state of oblivion really is such?
I can only say it looks crummy from my perspective ...

CaptiousNut said...

But our perspectives change.

If I had to go back to dating nubile women and living in cramped quarters I might go crazy now.

BUT there was a time when that was fun; there was a time when I moved into apartments and thought I was living like a king.

I find that surrounding myself with digital pics of everyone from back in the's a good daily reminder of fast time flies. Be sure to scan the old pics of 'old coots' too.

I have a very vivid memory. One of the downsides of that is that it really does seem like just yesterday that I was a child shooting spitballs at kids in government school.

Now I'm in a world of grey/no hair, vasectomies (not me!), 40th and 50th birthday parties, and my parents' generation is starting to croak here and there.

I'm afraid to blink lest I see 75 candles on a cake in front of me!