This is just wrong…on so many fronts.

Talked to a wonderful lady who I haven’t spoken to in years today.  She and her husband are long time friends of the family and just the best people you could possibly know.

Her mom is even better.  The sweetest lady one could possibly be. Tough as nails too. 93 years old now. And sadly can’t hardly remember her own children’s names as disease has spread through her brain.

She is in a nursing home. Was costing $10k a month until they moved her to a ‘cheaper’ one for the low, low price of $6k a month.

As you know, at least if you’ve been following me at all, Medicare does NOT cover long term care stays. Your Social Security statement could not be any clearer than on page 4 where it says this explicitly.

In this case, Mom is on the hook, for that $6k a month.  Thankfully, she has a bit of money to pay for it. Not much mind you but enough to see her through a few years.

However, in talking with my friend today, it turns out that Mom was sold an annuity 10 years or so ago when she was in her early to mid 80s.  Said annuity has a large surrender charge meaning if she were to take money out of the contract she would lose THOUSANDS of dollars!

I find this to be insane in so many ways.  What was an insurance agent doing selling an annuity, with a huge surrender charge schedule, to a widow in a remote part of the US? Why did the annuity company, or companies actually, allow this to happen?  Did the agent not think that there could be a time when Mom, again at the time of sale an 83 year old widow in a rural place, might need to move to a home to be provided for?  How would she pay that?

I can’t fathom this. I can visualize this sweet ever-so-trusting lady, sitting on her front porch in the mountains, while a nice talking insurance agent has her sign the contracts for these annuities. It disgusts me.

Now, don’t blame this episode on the “evils” of annuities.  Annuities are neither good nor evil.  They are inanimate.  They carry no morality.  Just like firearms, actually.  However, like firearms, BAD people can use them in nefarious ways.  As is the case here, in my opinion.

Try as I might, I can not see a reason whatsoever why someone would put an 80 year old lady into a product with significant surrender charges.  It’s crazy to me.

So, moral of the story, be careful out there, as they used to say on Hill Street Blues. Remember that show?
If something sounds too good to be true, it is.

Lastly, if you can’t have access to your money without waiting at least 10 years, please, for the love of all that is good, think long and hard before you sign the bottom line.

In the meantime, I’m going to look over the contract that Mom signed and see if there is an escape hatch of some sort because I just can’t believe ANY insurance company would allow this to happen.

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