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Cut Your Living Expenses w/o Lowering Your Standard of Living

  1. #61
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    Apr 2014
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    Arizona
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    Also....are these people paid to be on these shows (because that's what it is...show) and to say what they say? What REALLY drives me up the wall is when, at the end of the show, they're "discussing" the 3 houses and they're saying all the negative things about each house and then they choose the house with the most things they hate! I don't know why we even watch. We need to get a life...haha.



    Yes...we've wondered how these "kids" can afford a million dollar house just starting out. Are these people even real??? Are they actors??

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Texas
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    755
    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen View Post

    Also....are these people paid to be on these shows (because that's what it is...show) and to say what they say? What REALLY drives me up the wall is when, at the end of the show, they're "discussing" the 3 houses and they're saying all the negative things about each house and then they choose the house with the most things they hate! I don't know why we even watch. We need to get a life...haha.

    Yes...we've wondered how these "kids" can afford a million dollar house just starting out. Are these people even real??? Are they actors??


    Those million dollar homes must be on either the east or west coast where real estate is over the top expensive.

    I was able to retire early [comfortably with a paid off home] here in Dallas at age 55 and have yet to even see a million dollars [but my net worth is still increasing... so maybe before I die!]

    Btw... I especially like "Love It or List It." HGTV tried to turn the show over to a younger realtor and designer but the younger people did not have the same great personality and dynamics as the older cast. So now the old cast is back with new shows.

    .

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    1,781
    Quote Originally Posted by Lara View Post
    Things you can do to cut your living expenses without lowering your standard of living:

    1. Give your house to your children via an Irrevocable Trust. Then rent the house and live there. Have an estate attorney draft the documents and provisions.

    2. Sell your home to your kids and live there...maybe pay rent, maybe not.

    Gifting or selling your house to your children and then living there is the only option that will both maintain your lifestyle and reduce your costs according to Timothy Speises of the firm, EisnerAmper.

    As long as your children are willing and able to pay for the property taxes, maintenance, repairs, and any remaining mortgage payments, your house costs will be low...maybe even non-existent.
    Wouldn’t it be simpler if I just have my son send me a couple of thousand dollars every month?? He can afford it.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
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    445
    Quote Originally Posted by Lara View Post
    ...My Will has all my children in a Trust so it would be managed by the trustee...end of any disagreements as the trustee has the last word. But as far as one or two of them falling on hard times and not being able to afford their share of maintenance, and property tax, I can see the problem.
    Actually, no, the trustee does NOT necessarily have the last word. I saw this first-hand when I worked in a CFP's office. He had a client who was "second-generation", e.g.; his parents had been clients. We'll call him Jim. Jim also became one of our clients, but his sisters were not.

    Jim had 2 sisters, both adults. He was financially stable, as was one of his sisters. The youngest sister, let's call her Bea, was not.

    As usually happens, the father died first. House was the main asset in their RLT. Mother named Jim as co-trustee. Everybody was fine with him helping manage the house and mid-sized investment account (mostly the life insurance proceeds from father's death).

    Bea had very little work experience before marrying; marriage was rocky then went bad. She finally divorced the low-lifer. No job, no alimony, no place to live. Makes perfect sense for her to move back to her parents' home, help aging Mom out, and everybody is fine with the idea. This goes on for about five years.

    Then Mom dies. Trust says all 3 kids share equally. Not much money left, but house has zoomed in value. Even with original kitchen and bathrooms, it's easily worth $700K due to desirable location. Hot RE market, no need to do anything but superficially clean to sell it in a week's time, max.

    The house essentially IS the trust. It's the only major financial asset. It MUST be disbursed equally to the 3 kids. That is the fiduciary duty of the trustee. Jim is legally liable to the heirs.

    Unless you know how to carve up a house like a roast turkey but keep the value intact, this means the house must be sold. There's only one problem:

    Bea refuses to sell. She has no money to buy her siblings out. She flat-out refuses to move.

    Jim and sister #1 try to be reasonable. They are busy people; they have careers and families. Jim has a net worth of almost $4M but it is mostly in RE because he's a rancher; he lives almost 2 hours away from his parents' home. Like most people he has a limited cash flow – he lives comfortably, but not lavishly.

    Bea continues to refuse to sell. "We grew up here, I can't bear it to be sold!" Meetings became more acrimonious. Jim is having to maintain the value of the estate because it can't be disbursed so the trust can wind up. Utilities and property taxes are beginning to eat away at the cash.

    Bea hires a lawyer. More negotiations. Even the lawyer thinks Bea is being unreasonable. Finally they get Bea to agree to at least divide up the remaining cash. Then, she says, she will negotiate on the sale of the house.

    The remaining cash was something like $157,859.21. Divided 3 ways, it doesn't come out evenly:

    $52,619.73 in 3 equal portions, with 2 cents leftover.

    Bea refused to accept the division. "It has to be split up exactly into thirds!"

    Both Jim and sister #1 said they would give her the extra 2 cents. Just sign the papers, please! At this point it had been going on for almost a year.

    Bea refused again and had the lawyer file suit against her brother for misuse of estate funds.

    This means Jim has to hire a lawyer for the estate (more expenses!) to defend himself.

    Jim was trying his best not to be the villain. He had appreciated her helping out with Mom but she was becoming more unreasonable, not less. He had held off filing eviction on his baby sister but at this point he is watching the value of the estate drop. The RE market has suddenly turned downwards. As a fiduciary he cannot no longer keep this as a "family matter."

    Bea was evicted after six very nasty months. By now the RE market is definitely in retreat. Bea left a mess; the house had to be cleaned up, repaired, staged, and was finally sold for a much lesser price.

    The estate had to bear all the legal and RE expenses, including yet another year's property tax payment.

    (BTW, in case you're not aware, a trustee is NOT paid for their time, unless specified in the trust. Thus, Jim spent dozens of hours unpaid over the 18 months.)

    End result:
    -- $300+K in cash had dwindled to barely over $80K total, to be divided.
    -- Instead of clearing $660K, profit from the house fell to $485K.

    ....and Bea still had yet to pay her legal fees!

    Needless to say, the breach is permanent. Neither Jim nor his sister has ever spoken to Bea again. Neither their parents nor they had ever imagined such a thing happening.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    445
    Quote Originally Posted by C'est Moi View Post
    It was my understanding that a home is exempt from Medicaid's "asset limit" and Medicaid does not require it to be sold to pay for long-term care.
    Apparently this is only correct under very specific instances, having to do with original ownership and residency of such.

    Medicaid is a state-directed program (states must match in equal amount the Federal government's grant) so state laws vary greatly. It is critical you know what your state laws are, and remain updated on any changes.

    Here is a very thorough article on exempt and non-exempt rules. This applies only to New York State, but it gives a good idea of how Medicaid defines its guidelines:

    https://www.cutner.com/medicaid-asse...ost-thousands/

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    580
    Quote Originally Posted by Lethe200 View Post
    Actually, no, the trustee does NOT necessarily have the last word. I saw this first-hand when I worked in a CFP's office. He had a client who was "second-generation", e.g.; his parents had been clients. We'll call him Jim. Jim also became one of our clients, but his sisters were not.

    Jim had 2 sisters, both adults. He was financially stable, as was one of his sisters. The youngest sister, let's call her Bea, was not.

    As usually happens, the father died first. House was the main asset in their RLT. Mother named Jim as co-trustee. Everybody was fine with him helping manage the house and mid-sized investment account (mostly the life insurance proceeds from father's death).

    Bea had very little work experience before marrying; marriage was rocky then went bad. She finally divorced the low-lifer. No job, no alimony, no place to live. Makes perfect sense for her to move back to her parents' home, help aging Mom out, and everybody is fine with the idea. This goes on for about five years.

    Then Mom dies. Trust says all 3 kids share equally. Not much money left, but house has zoomed in value. Even with original kitchen and bathrooms, it's easily worth $700K due to desirable location. Hot RE market, no need to do anything but superficially clean to sell it in a week's time, max.

    The house essentially IS the trust. It's the only major financial asset. It MUST be disbursed equally to the 3 kids. That is the fiduciary duty of the trustee. Jim is legally liable to the heirs.

    Unless you know how to carve up a house like a roast turkey but keep the value intact, this means the house must be sold. There's only one problem:

    Bea refuses to sell. She has no money to buy her siblings out. She flat-out refuses to move.

    Jim and sister #1 try to be reasonable. They are busy people; they have careers and families. Jim has a net worth of almost $4M but it is mostly in RE because he's a rancher; he lives almost 2 hours away from his parents' home. Like most people he has a limited cash flow – he lives comfortably, but not lavishly.

    Bea continues to refuse to sell. "We grew up here, I can't bear it to be sold!" Meetings became more acrimonious. Jim is having to maintain the value of the estate because it can't be disbursed so the trust can wind up. Utilities and property taxes are beginning to eat away at the cash.

    Bea hires a lawyer. More negotiations. Even the lawyer thinks Bea is being unreasonable. Finally they get Bea to agree to at least divide up the remaining cash. Then, she says, she will negotiate on the sale of the house.

    The remaining cash was something like $157,859.21. Divided 3 ways, it doesn't come out evenly:

    $52,619.73 in 3 equal portions, with 2 cents leftover.

    Bea refused to accept the division. "It has to be split up exactly into thirds!"

    Both Jim and sister #1 said they would give her the extra 2 cents. Just sign the papers, please! At this point it had been going on for almost a year.

    Bea refused again and had the lawyer file suit against her brother for misuse of estate funds.

    This means Jim has to hire a lawyer for the estate (more expenses!) to defend himself.

    Jim was trying his best not to be the villain. He had appreciated her helping out with Mom but she was becoming more unreasonable, not less. He had held off filing eviction on his baby sister but at this point he is watching the value of the estate drop. The RE market has suddenly turned downwards. As a fiduciary he cannot no longer keep this as a "family matter."

    Bea was evicted after six very nasty months. By now the RE market is definitely in retreat. Bea left a mess; the house had to be cleaned up, repaired, staged, and was finally sold for a much lesser price.

    The estate had to bear all the legal and RE expenses, including yet another year's property tax payment.

    (BTW, in case you're not aware, a trustee is NOT paid for their time, unless specified in the trust. Thus, Jim spent dozens of hours unpaid over the 18 months.)

    End result:
    -- $300+K in cash had dwindled to barely over $80K total, to be divided.
    -- Instead of clearing $660K, profit from the house fell to $485K.

    ....and Bea still had yet to pay her legal fees!

    Needless to say, the breach is permanent. Neither Jim nor his sister has ever spoken to Bea again. Neither their parents nor they had ever imagined such a thing happening.
    The above is a nightmare that benefited only the attorneys. Sibling "Bea" was a fool.

    I was the trustee of my mother's estate. The trust documents, which were drawn by a trust attorney specified that I had 100% control over liquidating assets and distribution thereof. Any lawsuit brought against the trust or trustee (me) by one of my siblings would have triggered an automatic disinheritance of that sibling from the trust and his/her share would have been distributed equally among the remaining heirs.

    We didn't have any disagreements over the estate, but the security having that clause in there made my job a whole lot easier.

    p.s. My own trust has a similar clause.
    During life's hardest moments - the ones you don't think you can endure - it's helpful to remember that your record for getting through trying times remains at an impressive 100%.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Nrw Jersey
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    851
    Quote Originally Posted by KingsX View Post
    Some children have even murdered their parents to get their inheritance early.

    Most murders are by someone the victim knows.

    .
    Sadly you are so right KingsX !

  8. #68
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    Aug 2016
    Location
    Nrw Jersey
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    851
    Quote Originally Posted by KingsX View Post
    Yes, all that is HGTV typical. Also the vast majority of homebuyers want a house where they can "entertain."
    I saw a show recently where their own children were thrown under the bus, so they can have a guest room.
    Also, in many shows the purchase is centered on what's good for the dog [or cat, but usually it's a dog.]
    YESS!! (Re: purchasing for the benefit of their pets). LOL

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