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Reply to "Getting help caring for spouse"

Hi, Michael.

I'm so sorry to hear about your dear wife's illnesses and setbacks. Other folks here have experience about life with hospice. I've heard they have counseling for family members, and respite care if you need a break.

Along the lines of the financial scenario, I was wondering if you could apply for benefits for your wife to get Social Security Disability. In some cases, they will expedite the process so that it doesn't drag on for months. The $$ amount is based on what her average income was for so many months before she stopped work.

Also, check with her last employers HR department to see if there are any early payout options for pensions or life insurance. . . or other life insurance policies sometimes will pay a reduced amount in these situations. Since you are almost 60, if you have a 401k or other tax deferred investment, you can withdraw money with only 20% tax withheld and not take the extra 10% early withdrawal ding.

BTW, I am NOT an accountant, investment specialist or attorney - so you should consult with a professional before acting on any advice or suggestions I give. Everyone's situation is different and changes with locale.

Please know that you and your wife are in my prayers.