Max’s Back Pocket Vol. XI

If you are anything like me, you might be a bit rusty on your Roman numerals. So for clarity, this is the 11th edition of Max’s Back Pocket. That comes out to eleven weeks and almost fully encapsulates the height of the pandemic. When data-mining archeologists dig up this blog in 1,000 years they will be glad I meticulously documented everything. In theory, we will have ten more pandemics by then.

Things started ramping up this week even more than they were last week. Employees at my work are cleared daily now through a questionnaire that asks about various symptoms and activities. We even take our temperature every morning with one of those fancy infrared forehead thermometers. They are really cool and I enjoy screening people.

Oral Thermometers: A technology deemed obsolete in the year 2020

Every day, more and more “systems” and “processes” are being put in place to help us open the faucet while keeping everyone safe. It is encouraging.

Max’s Back Pocket

Over the last several years, I have absorbed a ton of great content from a lot of talented people in and around the internet. Several of those ideas even got drawn into my personal finance strategy. Some of these writers are professionals, but a lot of them are just amateurs throwing their weight around in a random niche. I like to think I am pretty good at healthcare and personal finance, but there are plenty of people out there much smarter than me.

Up until now, most of these ideas just landed in my back pocket. There they would sit for my own benefit whenever I needed them. They were rarely shared or exchanged with anyone in my personal network. These days, that is no longer the case. Max will start scouring the entire internet for these ideas in a weekly effort to not only spread but recognize the wealth of knowledge that is out there. This weekly check-in will also give me an excuse to catch up on what’s going on around here more often. What are we calling this idiomatic experiment?

Max’s Back Pocket.

Personal Finance

Not much going on in our personal finance lives these days. I forgot to mention that we got our stimulus money way back on April 14th.

Interestingly, our total expenses for April came in at a record low $2,600. That means the stimulus technically covered about 92% of our living expenses in April.

We were not too creative with our stimulus money. But the folks over at All Options Considered know we’re in this together and used their money to help others. Knowing they didn’t need the money, they started giving it away way back in March before the money even hit their account. Pretty awesome.

Apparently, Twitter has a hashtag dedicated to this at #shareyourcheck. Look at that, I’m getting so much better with Twitter.

Here at Max Out of Pocket, I completed the series discussing how the passive income from my medical office building portfolio is getting taxed.


Speaking of stimulus checks, residents in nursing homes will likely qualify for checks as well. Nursing facilities and families will need to know what to do with the checks when they get them. Is there a risk this stimulus money will put a nursing home resident over the income/asset limit for Medicaid?

Medicaid can be a tricky program to navigate for families of residents living in nursing homes. A lot of state Medicaid programs don’t allow residents to have over $2,500 in assets and still qualify for the Medicaid program. Thankfully, the American Council on Aging put together a nice write-up of how this will work.

Here is the bottom line:

Stimulus checks will not be counted as income and therefore will not impact Medicaid beneficiaries or applicants. However, should the stimulus money not be spent within 12 months, it may be counted as an asset, and therefore could impact eligibility in the year ahead.

Stimulus Check Impact for Medicaid Beneficiaries

This isn’t a green light for the nursing home or assisted living facility to keep it either. The checks should probably just be deposited into their personal needs account and encourage the resident to spend it within the 12 month time period. Maybe they could get a nice new TV for their room?

We have a lot to learn about long term care (LTC) planning here at Max Out of Pocket. I’ve had the pleasure of doing some side projects for a nursing home tied to our health system and have learned a ton about how it works. Frankly, there is a lot to plan around this and it’s just another example of healthcare intersecting personal finance.


On a personal level, I have been thinking for years now that I would eventually go out on my own and start my own healthcare consulting business. It would be a one-man shop. That said, it is just so much easier to work for a W2 employer who provides solid pay and benefits. My main goal for a transition like that would be to build in some additional flexibility into my life.

Thankfully, Dragon Guy started mapping this process out with Contract Work In Early Retirement – Part One: Negotiations. He was lucky enough to dip his toe into this world very quickly after pulling the plug from his W2 employer. It sounds like he learned a lot from the process. Maybe I will get there someday.

I think we are finally getting to warmer weather. Last weekend may have been our last “winter” hike of the year. We got back up to the mountains and there was still a ton of snow on the ground. Maybe this weekend will be our first “spring” hike.

Snowy waterfall hike last weekend

How was your week?


4 Responses

  1. Consulting is fun when you enjoy the technical content of the work (which it seems like you do). I like being able to “run the show” with naming the business, creating a logo and website, deciding which conferences to attend, etc. Glad I made the leap 🙂

    • Max OOP says:

      Hi Kim!

      I love the technical side of things. Some days, I like it more than managing large groups of people. Right now I have a nice middle ground so it will be a harder leap for me. Time will tell!


  2. Dragon Guy says:

    Thanks for including me.

    Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on LTC. It is definitely something I have thought about more as we age, but I really don’t know about, or even where to start the research.

    • Max OOP says:

      Yes, frankly some of the family situations I have encountered through my experience with long term care have really made me think hard about it.

      The biggest thing is the asset spend that is required to get on the Medicaid program. It can drain down assets incredibly fast (like 12k+ a month). For regular medical services (like in the hospital), Medicaid doesn’t do much asset testing.



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