If you fall into the baby boomer generation or you’re caring for an aging parent who is, you’re part of a nationwide shift that will alter the focus from retirement planning to end of life care in the next few decades. As baby boomers transition into retirement, their initial concerns tend to be about the best way to maximize retirement income. Over time, however, the concept of long-term care planning becomes critically important.
Currently, 43 million Americans fall into this portion of the baby boomer generation that is kept busy with retirement planning decisions. Although these are certainly worthwhile, it’s important not to skip over considerations related to long-term care, either.
As this generation grows older, though, the focus will be less about how to preserve these assets to retirement and more about passing them on to heirs or even reducing them in order to qualify for Medicaid. By the year 2050, the number of Americans needing long-term care is expected to increase from 12 million to 27 million.
Planning for long term care doesn’t require that you wait until you’re older, however. Too many Americans face the challenges of not having planned ahead and having to pay out of pocket for critical long-term care services. Carefully considering your options now during early retirement years makes it easier to confront the long-term care landscape. If you need help planning ahead for long-term care, contact our office today for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Usually, it’s Medicare that gets the bulk of news coverage, but Medicaid is still quite confusing for many people. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about Medicaid.
You Must Be Poor to Get It
Medicaid helps people qualify for long-term care, and it’s true that you cannot have more than a specific amount of assets to qualify, but there are some exempted assets. Consult with your elder law specialist to learn more.
Medicaid Is Unnecessary Since Medicare Will Cover My LTC
Medicare only covers up to 100 days of skilled nursing care, so it’s not permanent. Medicaid is more likely to help a patient over the lung run.
Transferring Your Money to Your Kids Will Help With Medicaid Qualification
While it’s true that you don’t want to have too many assets in the Medicaid qualification process, you don’t want to assume that all your assets should be transferred to children. The reason is because there is a penalty period if Medicaid believes that you transferred assets in the years prior just to qualify for coverage.
Make sure you’re clear about how Medicaid- as well as Medicare- works when it comes to your long-term care. Contact an elder law specialist to get more details about this process. Contact us at email@example.com
Last week on the blog we discussed how, when done properly, Medicaid planning is just a piece of the estate planning puzzle rather than an underhanded way to skirt government regulations. Unfortunately, there’s still quite a perception out there that Medicaid planning is somehow dubious and trying to capture as much of the government’s money as possible.
The crackdown on Medicaid planning opportunities isn’t really new, since Congress tightened the penalties for giving away money to qualify back in 2007. The average cost of a nursing home in America is $75,000 per year, and it’s even higher in New Jersey and along states along the Northeast. That being said, just one year in a nursing home could obliterate a parent’s savings. That’s where Medicaid planning comes in.
There are strict rules about transferring assets and giving gifts in the years before qualifying for Medicaid. Consult with an attorney so that you are fully aware of the best strategies to employ and the proper timeline to follow so that your loved ones are not hit with any penalties. Medicaid is there to help, but you must be willing to follow the rules and institute planning early if you intend to get the most out of this system. Consult your elder law attorney for more details. When you need an elder law specialist, we’re here to help- reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For some reason, there’s a belief out there that Medicaid planning is against the law or in some way trying to circumvent the system. The reality is that this is not true at all. In fact, many attorneys and individuals invested in the Medicaid planning process have an expert level of knowledge about government regulations and the importance of working within these guidelines. Despite the fact that Medicaid planning can occasionally get a bad reputation as being unethical, the majority of people dedicated to this cause are committed to ethics and actually make the most out of planning within government guidelines.
Those who plan to qualify for Medicaid keep are looking ahead for the best way to do so, are simply following the rules of Medicaid just as those using tax deductions are complying with IRS regulations. At least that’s the perspective of ethics columnist Randy Cohen, who used to write for the New York Times.
The fact that long term care costs are increasing simply means that more people are interested in Medicaid planning and are seeking to understand their options more comprehensively. This doesn’t make planning unethical or illegal in any sense, in fact Medicaid planning represents an understanding of the importance of compliance. We’re waiting to help set your appointment: contact email@example.com today.