Long Term Care Issues

long term care lawyerAs the population of America ages, there is a retirement issue many Americans don’t realize exists.  This issue involves long term care.  One of the ways of dealing with long term care issues is to purchase long term care insurance.

Long Term Care Expenses

In the Metropolitan New York area, nursing home expenses run between $10,000 to $12,000 per month.  On an annual basis, that is $120,000 to $144,000 per year.  Few Americans are financially able to meet a financial burden of this size.  One aspect of long term financial planning should deal with the issue of long term care.  Long term care insurance is a possible solution to this problem.  Unfortunately, only approximately 15% of the American public buy long term care insurance.

There are a variety of strategies seniors can use to deal with the threat of long term care expenses.  The following are some of these strategies:

  • Long term care insurance.  If you purchase a policy when you are in your mid-fifties, it can be purchased relatively inexpensively considering the potential benefits available.
  • Set aside a substantial amount of your investments in case you have long term care expenses.
  • Look into lower cost alternatives to nursing homes.  An example of this is residential care facilities for seniors.
  • Live close to a family member who would be in a position to take care of you.
  • Have a portion of the equity in your home held in reserve.  In case of an emergency this could be utilized for long term care expenses.
  • Hire an experienced elder care lawyer and set up your finances and your estate in a manner which allows you to qualify for Medicaid, either for home healthcare aides or nursing home care.

Relying on Relatives

Most seniors do not want to become burdens upon their children.  A senior being cared for by a child could have a negative impact on the ability of the child to work or develop a successful career.

Conclusion

I am a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.  I find the very best way to deal with long term care issues is to have long term care insurance.  However, an alternative is to do estate planning with an experienced elder law attorney.  You can move all of your assets out of your name into a trust more than five years prior to going into a nursing home.  This will allow you to qualify for Medicaid.will and estate attorney on Long Island

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