April 20, 2018
When you are young, or even middle-aged, it is hard to imagine that you could experience a disability. But, studies confirm that many of us will face at least a temporary disability some time during our lives.
One recent study showed that one in three Americans will face at least a 90-day disability before reaching age 65. And, depending upon age, 44% of us will face a disability lasting 4.7 years.
I don’t like to hear these numbers any more than you do. But, the truth is that many Americans will experience long-term disability requiring long-term care. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Service estimates that 9 million Americans over age 65 will need long-term care this year.
Sadly, a disability can result in a financial catastrophe. Even short-term stays at care facilities have been known to crack and scramble many family’s retirement nest eggs. You may be wondering about Medicare. Many people are shocked to hear that Medicare does not pay for long-term care in most situations, so that leaves you to pay out-of-pocket for costs that could grow to as much as $10,000 per month or more.
But, you can avoid this by planning in advance. One possibility is to purchase a long-term care insurance policy. There are a number of companies that offer this type of insurance, but it is important to understand that each company’s offering is different. Long-term care insurance policies can also be complex and carry high premiums that make them unaffordable. With these type of policies, it’s important to read every line of the fine print. If you aren’t clear on what you’re signing, have an attorney review the policy before you commit.
There are also a number of estate planning strategies that you can consider. The strategies you employ will depend on your unique family situation and your goals. This may include reallocating your assets to qualify for Medi-Cal or VA Aid & Attendance benefits to help offset long-term care costs. Again, you should consider bringing in an experienced estate planning lawyer to talk through the many options available.
Remember though, the options presented above are only available to you if you plan in advance. If you wait until a medical crisis hits your options may be severely limited. If you would like to make sure your affairs in order, call our Folsom estate planning attorneys at (916) 241-1661 to schedule a consultation.