Have You Neglected Long Term Care Planning for Your Estate?

A recent Banker’s Life survey that included 1500 middle income Americans between the ages of 54 and 72 reveals that most baby boomers haven’t planned for long term care expenses.

Around 10,000 people across the United States are turning 65 in the United States every single day, and of those, nearly 70% of people who are reaching retirement age will need some type of long term care assistance during their lifetime, according to research collected by the Department of Health and Human Services. The cost of long term care can decimate a person’s lifelong savings.

Baby boomers were more likely to plan for their death than to have a long term care plan in place. In fact, over 81% of respondents had prepared some sort of funeral arrangements, but less than one-third had a plan for how they will receive long term care in retirement. This is especially problematic given that someone’s retirement savings could be practically destroyed by just one long term care event.

A healthy spouse could also be the one who suffers as a result of failure to plan for the possibility of long term care expenses. Right now, DHHS estimates that the average cost of health care for a retiree is $138000, but nearly 80% of respondents in the Banker’s Life study said that they had no money set aside for retirement care needs.

You need to think about how estate planning and long term care planning can work together for your future. Schedule a consultation with an attorney in Virginia today.

 

Retirement Planning Beyond the Basics

There’s no doubt that the workforce is changing and as more baby boomers are reaching retirement age, this is also raising questions about how retirement is different. Traditional retirement planning might not cut it anymore, particularly if you’re not using comprehensive estate planning tools to target your goals. What is important to consider is making a written retirement plan for your financial and non-financial aspects of your life.

Establishing habits now before retirement makes things easier. While money is certainly a crucial component of your overall retirement plan, you shouldn’t be afraid to use some of the savings you’ve established to create a better life now instead of waiting until later. For example, investing in relationships and in better health can pay off in spades and cut down your overall costs in retirement.

Retirement is ranked 10th out of 43 total stressful events. Some people feel disoriented or overwhelmed in the first couple of years of retirement. There’s no doubt that you’ll be concerned about your life savings being gone before you are, and this is why traditional retirement planning largely focuses on the money.

However, don’t forget about non-financial retirement issues. Living longer makes many people confused because they don’t know what to do about it. Some people fear that living longer just means they are less capable for longer periods of time due to incapacitating events or cognitive issues.

Long-term care planning, brain health considerations, and life insurance are all important. Putting together a written non-financial estate plan should begin by looking at things like family beliefs, values, and traditions. This makes it a lot easier to identify the legacy that you intend to pass on to future generations with ease. Schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney in Virginia to learn more.

Discharges, Medicare, and Long Term Care Basics for Seniors

A new study identified that Medicare could save approximately $4.6 billion with no negative impact by disallowing discharges to long term care hospitals. The study analyzed different outcomes for patients between 1998 and 2014 for those patients who were discharged to long term hospitals.  
Do you have long term care insurance to help you plan ahead for your future? If not, do you have a Medicaid plan in place to ensure that you’ll be ready to tap into government benefits when you need them?
Markets with LTCHs tended to be bigger than those without and that made up nearly 35% of Medicare enrollees by the conclusion of the 16-year period. When compared with rates for time spent in a skilled nursing home, per day rates averaged $1400 in 2014 in comparison with $450 for a skilled nursing home. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that Medicare will pay for all of your advanced care needs- this misconception and the related lack of Medicaid planning costs families.
The skilled nursing home would have been the alternative for nearly all of the LTCH patients and the choice to use LTCH facilities, instead, represented a 33,000 increase in overall Medicare spending. Since many different policymakers are looking for ways to reign in the spending on health care, it is important for anyone who is planning for their own financial future to consider how best to protect their individual interests.
You need the support of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to help you understand how Medicaid and Medicare may work together and may not work together in your future years as you plan for the possibility of long term care events that could disrupt your savings and your retirement. The support of a lawyer is instrumental in finding loopholes in your plan and helping you to articulate new strategies that consider the future.
 

Clients Express Fears About Long Term Care Needs

Most people recognize that the rising costs of long term care will certainly impact their retirement planning abilities and their lives in older age. However, approaching long term care planning is notoriously difficult, especially when many clients are concerned or scared to discuss it to begin with.
Many consumers simply need to come to terms with the fact that they need to plan. There are many different options available when it comes to long term care planning but waiting until it is too late can expose the patient as well as family members to unnecessary stress and financial problems. Many different approaches can be used to help broach the topic, but a recent study found that clients are not receiving appropriate LTC advice.
Among widows and widowers, one out of every five participating in a recent study indicated that long term care planning advice was included as one of the services provided by a financial advisor. Long term care insurance is not the only option available for people considering looking ahead to their older ages and protecting themselves and their family members.
However, because of the many misconceptions associated with long term care planning and many people’s beliefs that only expensive long-term care insurance can cover it, far too many people put this decision off until it is too late and make it difficult for their spouse or their loved ones to receive the assets and support intended.
Scheduling a consultation with an experienced long-term care planning lawyer is strongly recommended for anyone who is contemplating protecting their own interests and assets for many years to come. A consultation with a lawyer can clarify many of the misconceptions surrounding long term care planning.

More Seniors File for Bankruptcy Amid Limited Long-Term Care Funds

Do you have a plan for your retirement that includes long-term care? More seniors than ever are questioning whether they have enough support to live into older age, especially with the risk posed by long-term care costs. Most people know that rooms in a nursing home or at-home care can be extremely expensive, but those same people are not sure where to start with the planning process. They frequently get overwhelmed and confused and decide not to take any action at all.
But failing to include long-term care could lead to serious problems and issues. It could cause some seniors to file bankruptcy after just one major medical event.
A new study completed by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project indicates that seniors report that they are struggling with unmanageable costs of health care and inadequate income to match. A rising number of older Americans are filing for bankruptcy, since long term care costs are one of the leading factors of rising costs in older ages. The rate for seniors aged 65 and over, filing for bankruptcy has more than doubled since 1991, according to researchers. The percentage of elders in the bankruptcy system has also quintupled. Seniors say that the rising cost of health care is a leading reason why they are forced to consider filing for bankruptcy. The median bankruptcy filer reported a negative wealth of higher than $17000. Non-bankrupt counterparts, on the other hand, had around $250,000.
More seniors are covered by low paying Medicaid and more seniors are less likely to pay their own bills. Many companies are phasing out retirement plans, which has corresponded with the significant drop in retirement benefits across the country, putting the elderly at risk.
Combine this with increasing longevity numbers that are also followed with a high chance of having to pay for long term care at some point during retirement and this puts your elderly loved ones at risk for significant consequences and problems when it comes time to pay for health care costs that are unexpected. Even one health care event for an elderly couple could expose the other spouse to significant financial issues.
Hire an estate planning lawyer who is there to answer your questions.
 
 

Study Shows Patients Not Prepared for Long Term Care Costs

Are you assuming that you won’t need the support provided by long term care? That could be a significant mistake and one that could cost you and your loved ones for many years. A new study has shown that plenty of patients are not prepared for the out of pocket costs of long term care.  
Patients underestimate the financial responsibility connected with starting long term care, meaning that they are willfully unprepared for the out of pocket costs linked to a long-term care facility.
A new survey of more than 2000 family caregivers and patients reveal that patients greatly underestimate their long-term care needs and approximately 70% of all patients end up needing some form of long term care but only 46% of those patients predicted that they would need long term care.
Patients also overestimated the point at which they might need to begin long term care support. Most assumed that the common age for these facilities or care types was at age 79, despite the fact that the national average for beginning this sort of treatment is 73. The cost of a nursing home can be significant. A semi-private nursing home room costs an average of $85,775 per year, whereas an assisted living facility cost $45,000.
Approximately 64% of the survey’s respondents had not saved anything for long term care, putting them at serious risk of losing their financial assets and not being able to recover quickly enough to pay for their remaining years or to pass on assets to their loved ones. Before you face these significant challenges, schedule the time to talk to an attorney you can trust. A lawyer in VA Beach will help you put together an estate plan that keeps your best interests in mind.
 
 

Long Term Care Prices Are on The Rise

Americans keep assuming, incorrectly, that the government will cover the vast majority of their long-term care expenses, but that is not true, and research shows that long term care expenses are only increasing. The Genworth 2017 Cost of Care Survey was recently released and the President and CEO of Genworth’s U.S. Life Division indicated that people are living longer, but are not prepared.
A private room in a nursing home now costs consumers more than $8000 per month or just under $100,000 per year. A semi-private room still carries a price tag of $85,000 per year. Government oversight of hospitals could be influencing these higher prices because hospitals are now under pressure to reduce the costs and discharge patients more quickly.
Those patients who might have spent up to a week in the hospital in years past are now only spending a couple of days and then they return to the nursing home for rehabilitation, in need of more care because they are sicker. This means that the nursing home then has to put more experienced staff or more staff in general on duty. Home health care has experienced the biggest hike in long term care expenses. The annual median cost increased by 6.2% for home health aides.
The potential reasons for this include an increase in the minimum wage in certain geographic locations, making other jobs more attractive and an increasing demand for caregivers over all. If you or someone you know would benefit from talking to an attorney about protecting yourself against the high expense of long term care, schedule a consultation with a lawyer today.
 
 

Tips for Saving on Long Term Care Insurance

If you are looking ahead to the future to protect your own assets and to cover the very expensive cost of nursing home or other necessary care when you are older, long term care insurance is an important opportunity to protect your future.
The majority of Americans over age 65 will need some type of long term care in their future. So, it’s in your best interest to purchase long term care insurance now. It is getting more expensive, however, so engaging in any opportunity you can to keep the cost down is well worth it.
The average cost of long term care insurance policies in the United States is about $2700 a year. The older you are, the more you’ll pay in long term care insurance and you’ll also pay more based on your health. With serious conditions like metastatic cancer or Alzheimer’s, an insurance company might deny you altogether. There are alternatives like short term care policies, which typically cost one third of long term care insurance, but it covers a lot less.
Hybrid insurance policies combine long term care and life insurance together; enabling you to tap into the debt benefit, if you need it for care. There may be significant upfront payments involved. Getting a long-term care insurance policy should always be done when you are relatively young and healthy.
You will get a better rate for your long-term care insurance cost at that point in time and have a better awareness that you are protected. Remember that long term care problems do not only emerge when you are older. Some of the individuals who have activated their long-term care insurance policies are in their 20s and 30s and need significant rehabilitation after a vehicle accident. Talk to an estate planning attorney in VA today to learn more about protecting your assets for the future.
 
 

Nursing Homes Versus In-Home Care

Geriatric facilities in general are moving away from providing long term care beds and are instead increasing the number of rehabilitative beds offered.ThinkstockPhotos-547537462
This is largely due to financial reasons since Medicare will pay up to $600 per day for rehabilitative bed whereas Medicaid will only pay approximately $125 per day for a long-term care bed. This means there is decreasing availability of long term care beds and seniors will find it increasingly challenging to find places in high quality facilities. This is why increasingly home services are becoming an option.
A senior can initiate this process on their own or family members may sit down and discuss the benefits of having an elderly loved one receive aging at home care. In-home healthcare can provide a sense of familiarity and clear structure for a loved who needs additional assistance. Home care options can frequently be much less expensive than placement in a permanent facility, given that according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, home care options cost around $6500 per month.
This allows for an increased mental health status, better feelings of dignity, and decreased healing time when a person is able to stay in their own home. Furthermore, family members may still continue to provide caretaking assistance while also knowing that they have a professional who is on hand to help as necessary. To learn more about the aging in place process, discuss this with your experienced estate planning lawyer.

Why You Need to Have a Plan in Place for Long Term Care

Since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shared that nearly 70% of Americans who are turning 65 will need long term care at some point, there is a good opportunity for planning ahead for your own future. The costs associated with long term care are not limited to medical care alone, as you could need support with basic activities in daily living like dressing, eating, using the toilet and transferring to and from your bed. This frequently means requiring custodial care, which means people who can help you with medications or help preparing meals or even a skilled care professional such as treatment by a licensed nurse or therapist.ThinkstockPhotos-491815290
The cost for these services vary tremendously, depending on where you are currently living and how you are receiving care. But the national median rate for a home health aide was $20 per hour. One day at an adult daycare center was $68. Spending one month in an facility for assisted living costs more than $3600 and a private room in a nursing home was $253 per day. If you expect that Medicare or Medicaid will automatically step in to pick up the tab for your long-term care services, you need to do some research.
If you have a high level of assets, these could be decimated by having to pay for long term care expenses and you are unlikely to qualify for Medicaid without a plan in place. Purchasing long term care insurance and taking advantage of other opportunities can give you peace of mind that you’ll be able to leave behind assets for your beneficiaries.
Speak with your Virginia Beach estate planning lawyer to learn more.