aberwyn: (justice)
[personal profile] aberwyn
I haven't posted here in a while, I know.  It's not that I've been busy, exactly, more like struggling to learn how to handle large financial decisions that I've never had to make before.  As you all probably know, my husband of 40-some years, Howard, has slipped into full Alheimer's dementia after doing his best to fight against it for 5 long years. Last year I tried to take care of him by myself and ended up feeling deranged, mostly because of sleep deprivation.  Howard usually wakes up and gets up several times in the night. He gets dressed or partly so and tries to out for a "walk", usually at 3 a.m. (Recently he tried this wearing only a cowboy hat, his underwear, and a pair of Fry boots.)

This year we found, after 5 false starts, a very good full time caregiver.  VJ now lives with us, and I have gotten my mind back. The problem, of course, is continuing to pay for his services, which are considerable and worth every penny.  I have savings, but my, do they shrink fast with medical bills of this size! My only option is extracting equity from our crumbling tract house.  The good news: we live in neighborhood that has become oddly desirable, right next to San Francisco, a short trip to Silicon Valley. It has an excellent primary school, too.  Prices for these post WWII homes have gone way up.  The bad news: ours needs repairs, and They Who Give Reverse Mortgages may not like that.

I've decided to spend some of the savings on a financial advisor, because I am way out of my depth.  I know that there are a LOT of questionable mortgage offers out there.  The reputable large banks no longer offer reverse mortgages ever since Elizabeth Warren pushed through consumer protectons -- which tells us how dangerous banks can be.  So I've hired someone who knows the field.  I'm still horribly anxious of course.  But I persevere.

If you've ignored financial things because your spouse or parents or whoever handle them for you, take me for an Awful Warning in the Victorian sense.  Learn!  Study what they're doing!  Don't end up like me!
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Katharine B Kerr

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