If you turn back the clock by 20 years, at that time, you would probably find it impossible to truly understand how you feel right now. The inability to fully grasp things that you have not yet experienced is part of the human condition.
This makes for an interesting adventure in a way, but at some point, the future that you can’t fully understand now could present some inherent challenges. With this in mind, we will look at life care planning in this post.
The Eventualities of Aging
There is a useful tool on the Social Security Administration website that you can use to gauge your life expectancy based on your age.
If you plug in the numbers for a woman that is celebrating her 67th birthday today, you will see that her life expectancy is 87 years. The life expectancy for a 67-year-old man is 85 years.
This equation paints a very compelling picture. The vast majority of people expect to live long enough to receive their full Social Security benefits, and if you reach the age of eligibility, this is your life expectancy.
A very significant percentage of people that reach an advanced age need help with their activities of daily living. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, seven out of 10 seniors will need living assistance, and 35 percent will reside in nursing homes eventually.
Life Care Planning
When you understand the fact that there will be challenges to address when you enter your elder years, you can engage in a process called life care planning. This is a holistic approach that takes all the different facets into consideration.
You should define your preferred lifestyle and implement a plan that will make it possible. Flexibility is key, because you have to be able to adapt to changing circumstances, and there can be an ongoing evolution.
There is a concept called “aging in place” that is relevant here. Modifications to your home can be made to suit your physical limitations, and these upgrades can be ongoing. Handrails, grab bars, walk-in showers and bathtubs, stair lifts, and motion sensor lighting are some examples.
Married couples should endeavor to coordinate their respective strengths and work together as a team. The level of assistance that is needed should be determined, and when family members and friends are willing to pitch in, a schedule of sorts can be devised.
Professional Long-Term Care
In some instances, professional assistance will be required, and there are in-home caregivers that will provide various levels of help as needed. And of course, some seniors will receive care in residential settings.
Long-term care is very expensive, and Medicare does not pay for custodial care, so you have to look elsewhere for financial assistance. Medicaid will cover a stay in a nursing home, and there is a Medicaid Waiver program that will pay for in-home care if you can gain eligibility.
Since Medicaid is a need-based program, you cannot qualify if you have significant assets in your own name. The good news is that there are some resources that are not counted, including your home with an equity limit of $636,000 in 2022.
You could convey countable assets into a Medicaid trust in an effort to develop a financial profile that will lead to eligibility.
This would be an irrevocable trust, and the principal would be out of your reach, but you would be able to receive distributions of income that is generated by the trust’s assets. As long as you fund the trust at least five years before you apply for Medicaid, the principal would not count.
Take Action Today!
We place an emphasis on this area, and we would be glad to work with you to develop an effective plan for aging.
You can schedule a consultation appointment at our elder law office in Bluffton, SC if you call us at 842-815-8580. There is also a contact form on this site you can use to send us a message, and if you reach out electronically, you can expect to receive a prompt response.