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<<I want to answer some of these questions that have been asked.

First, Drew (that's step-dad) did not leave an estate, unless you want to call a LOT of bills an estate.

Second, mom lives in a trailer, so she does not own her own home.

Third, most of the 12 (Yes, 12!!!) CC's are in both names, although I think 3 or 4 are in Drew's alone. Most are now maxed and are accruing penalties: overlimit and late fees.

Fourth, regarding the VA. They "over benefitted" Drew and want about 3K returned. The benefits were in his name only.

Mom is 58 and plans on working till the day she can no longer teach - she's been a teacher since I was maybe 10...I am now 35. Unfortunately 24 of those years were in private Christian Schools with no retirement plans or benefits, so she has nothing saved up. I am wondering what we can do, if anything in the short term to shore up some kind of monies to get a plan at least started.

Sorry to read about the difficulties your mother is experiencing. I find it difficult to get my mind around the scale of this problem, so I'm sure it's far worse for you.

I don't want to cause you any gratuitous pain, but I think its important to ask how this situation developed over the years. Is your mother's current predicament the consequence of years of poor financial planning and living above their means?

We tend to hear stories of people reporting their struggle against debt and to devlope LBYM styles of life. But for those who persist living for today with little thought of the consequences, your mom demonstrates that tomorrow has a way of arriving eventually.

I have a good friend in similar circumstances. We worked for the same company and had the same job for a while ---but while I LBYM, he lived for today, spending whatever he had. Now at 62 and in a physically demanding job that he finds increasingly burdensome, he can't afford to quit.

Seattle Pioneer
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