Are You Concerned About Long Term Care Costs?

Does your estate plan account for long-term care costs? If not, you could end up paying out of your own retirement savings to cover necessary expenses for your care or for a spouse’s.

Studies have found that most people over age 65 will eventually need help with daily tasks of living, such as getting dressed, eating or bathing. One of the most interesting facts pulled from the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging is that women are likely to need care for a longer period of time than men.

Women will need this type of care on average for 3.7 years, while men will need this form of assistance for an average of 2.2 years. Many people will have little choice but to rely on unpaid care from children or spouses.

However, it’s important to realize that the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey shows that more than one-third of people in need of assistance will spend time in a nursing home. That nursing home care can be extremely expensive and is likely not be covered by Medicare.

This is because private health insurance in Medicare don’t often classify nursing home care custodial expenses which can eliminate a significant portion of your retirement savings. Planning ahead to qualify for Medicaid is extremely important and it’s something that should be done with the guidance of an experienced and dedicated lawyer in Virginia Beach.

 

 

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.

 

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.

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.
 
 

Can't Afford Long Term Care? Here Are Six Different Ways to Pay for It

You may be under the impression that you just can’t afford long term care and you are banking on your ability to remain healthy long into your older years. But, unfortunately, the average cost of long term care in 2015, for a 65-year-old, was $138,000.
Approximately half of seniors will need some type of long term care and one out of every seven seniors will need it for five years or longer. Many people are already struggling to save money for their retirement and may be concerned about long term care expenses.
There are several different things you can do to help to protect yourself and your assets. These include:

  •      Verifying whether or not you are eligible for a long term care insurance policy. Far too many people make a mistake of thinking that it’s outside of their reach.
  •      Add riders to your current life insurance policies.
  •      Take advantage of veteran benefits if you are eligible.
  •      Open a health savings account.
  •      Use personal savings.
  •      Schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney to talk through options to plan for Medicaid.

All of these tools can be very valuable and can give you a better perspective of the many different ways that you may be eligible to pay for long term care without additional stress and frustration for you and your loved ones.
 
 

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.
 
 

Planning for Your Future Healthcare Decision-making: What Are Superagers?

Some elders will retain a significantly sharper memory and cognitive ability than their peers. In a recent study, it was identified that these people all carry a very unique trait.
The natural process of brain decline regarding memory begins in the late 20s and early 30s, however the average ager, according to a recent study indicates that memory is atrophying at twice the rate of someone who is classified as superager. Atrophy progression seems to blocked by superagers.
One of the most important connections for you to make is that you may struggle with a cognitive decline at any point in time, particularly after a major health care event or a car accident, for example.ThinkstockPhotos-71036988
Paying attention to your health at all ages is important, but you might not always be able to make decisions for yourself. If you’re incapacitated but have clear wishes about your medical care, another person should know these concerns and be legally allowed to make them on your behalf.
Having critical legal documents in place such as stipulating who is eligible to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf can make a huge difference for your loved one’s ability to step in and articulate your wishes for you. No one expects to be a victim of an accident but taking the necessary planning steps now can help to minimize the chances that you and your loved ones will be confused and unsure of next steps.    Contact a Virginia estate planning attorney today to learn more.
 

Wealth Planning and Long-Term Care Planning for Aging Parents

If you have the responsibility of taking care of your aging loved ones, this is an extremely common situation that is facing more people in the sandwich generation. The sandwich generation often has children of their own, while they are also helping with the health care management or the costs associated with the loved one.
Many people don’t like to think about incapacity, money or death, but this is extremely important for any situation in which you are helping a loved one work through the issues of aging. There are several different steps that you can take in order to minimize the negative impacts of failing to plan. Failing to plan can make things more complicated for everyone, in the event that your loved one suffers from incapacity or suddenly passes away. Several different things should be discussed with your aging parents, including:

  • Putting together a living trust.
  • Planning for the possibility of long term care, including long-term care insurance.
  • Evaluating housing options.
  • Determining transportation needs.
  • Ensuring proper documents are in place.

Having a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you address many of the issues associated with the estate planning and the elder law planning process. Learn more about how estate planning Virginia can help you by setting up a consultation today.
 

What You Should Know About the Rise in Costs of Long Term Care

Over the course of 2015 and 2016, long term care is on the rise. Long term care refers to any situation in which an individual has suffered an incapacitating event or significant healthcare event prompting a stay in a nursing home or another type of medical assistance. According to surveys from Genworth Financial, in 2015 a private nursing home room cost edged up to $100,000 per year.
Americans on an average are paying more for care options such as assisted living communities and health aides. Private nursing home rooms come with a median annual bill of just over $92,000. That’s an almost 20% increase since 2011. Planning ahead for long term care is important, not just as it relates to purchasing insurance but also for identifying the healthcare documents you need from your estate planning lawyer to assist you with protecting yourself and your loved ones.
Should you become incapacitated, this could trigger a broad range of legal questions that can only be answered by another person in the event that you have set up your estate planning documents to empower another individual to make these decisions on your behalf. Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible if you find yourself in this situation is strongly recommended.

For Caregivers, Ensuring Legal Matters Essential

Doctor laying hand on senior man's shoulder

Doctor laying hand on senior man’s shoulder

Caregivers of people with serious illnesses, particularly cognitive issues of the elderly, have a lot on their plate, but they also have an obligation to make future legal preparations for their loved ones.
“As a caregiver, you should begin making legal preparations soon after your loved one has been diagnosed with a serious illness,” states an article on the webmd website. “People with Alzheimer’s disease and other long-term illnesses may have the capacity to manage their own legal and financial affairs right now. But as these diseases advance, they will need to rely on others to act in their best interests. This transition is never easy. However, advance planning allows people with a long-term disease and their families to make decisions together for what may come.
“Clearly written legal documents that outline your loved one’s wishes and decisions are essential for caregivers. These documents can authorize another person to make healthcare and financial decisions, including plans for long-term care. If the person being cared for has the legal capacity, the level of mental functioning necessary to sign official documents, he or she should actively participate in legal planning. To give your loved one the best care possible, obtain legal advice and services from an attorney experienced with these issues. If the person you’re caring for is age 65 or older, consider hiring an attorney who practices elder law, a specialized area of law focusing on issues that typically affect the elderly.”
Webmd.com advises caregivers to be certain that important documents are in place, including:

  • Power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney for health care, also known as health care proxy
  • Living will
  • Living trust
  • Will