Please help me help my mother's retirement crisis from across the country.
I asked (previously
) about social help for my mother during her retirement in Tennessee, but now the situation has deteriorated and I am at a loss what to do from so far away.
As her only child I feel like I need to help. I don’t know if it is my place to help, but at the least I would like to provide her with a starting point to help herself.
They moved from their home in Vegas and left their house up for sale. They are now paying a mortgage and high insurance on an empty home and it’s not selling. Even with the price lowered, I seriously doubt it will sell soon as there are multiple houses on their street up for sale with better features. They barely did any renovating when they lived there and now my stepdad has insisted they turn the water off, meaning the curb appeal landscape is drying out & dying.
My mom is a breast cancer survivor, had multiple back surgeries, and has multiple “pre-existing conditions.” The sticker shock of staying on her good insurance frightened her into making bad decisions, and now she has jumped companies a few times and thus cannot afford to pay their premiums and her prescription costs are now so high she can hardly afford to eat. She is 2 years shy of medicare. My stepfather has MS, and does not contribute income past disability. She was able to get a part time job, but it was a 3 month assignment that pays less than she used to make on one paycheck.
So to sum it up, she has enormous health costs, is paying on a house she doesn’t live in, and they are living with my uncle. He wants them gone, not because he is a cruel person, but because 1 month has turned into 5 and he wants my stepfather out of the house.
My mom is kind of living in this denial fog where she is very hesitant to do anything to fix the situation. She is very depressed, and my stepfather is a very negative, verbally abusive man who has her convinced that if they don’t own their own home (meaning sit and wait to sell the old house and go buy one, even though they are both too disabled to really enjoy home ownership) that there is no point to anything. My mom has a history of staying with abusive men, and I don’t know how help her with this. She sees a therapist, but I do not know how candid she is with them.
It is like she has put herself out to pasture. She was once a very vibrant, successful woman who was a great teacher and it is hard to see her so unhappy and hopeless.
I’m not made of money, and I can’t afford to swoop in and buy her house in a state I don’t live in and fix the situation. What I need is practical advice on how to help her get out of this financial hole she is in, enjoy her retirement, and maybe empower herself a little. I try to send articles, links, call her, tell her I love her, but I know the situation is getting worse and I feel very helpless. Are there organizations I can put her in touch with?