Ask Terry Questions Paying back the $50k my elderly mother gave us for kids college

Paying back the $50k my elderly mother gave us for kids college

By Terry Savage on September 02, 2013 | Wild Card

My 90 year old mother gave us $50K a short while ago to both my kids for paying for their college educations in which I told her I feel better if we pay her back over the course of the next 4 years because she may need it for her assisted living facility. Where would you put the money? I am currently automatically putting $750 monthly into etrade and right now, the money is just accumulating there not knowing whether I should do bonds or stocks or a combination of both and specifically in what you’d advise. I would like to automatically do this and thereby not having to go it and do it myself each month.

SAVAGE SAYS: That was a VERY generous gift from your mother, and it is lovely that you feel obligated to repay her. I don’t know how much she has in the way of assets, and hope that it will be enough to carry her through life even if she lives a long time. You are better putting that money aside, and not repaying her, and waiting to see what happens. If she runs out of assets, she might qualify for Medicaid — and still be able to life in that nice facility. If, instead, they insist that after her money runs out she must move to a state Medicaid-funded nursing home, you can pay for the current place using the money you saved to repay her. (After her death there is a 5 year look-back period at any “gifts” she gave away, if she uses Medicaid to pay for her care.)

In the meantime, this is officially “chicken” money — not to be risked. So leave it in teh money market account at eTrade, or in a bank MM deposit account. You don’t want to risk losing any of it. If it remains yours after her death, then you can? consider risker investments like stocks.



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