You have heard the horror stories from friends, family or neighbors about dealing with an extended long-term care stay for a loved one. Well, unfortunately without proper planning, we see a lot of those horror stories come true. As the baby-boomer generation starts to reach retirement age, we will see these horror stories happen more and more.
Statistics show that in the state of Ohio, 70% of single individuals above the age of 60 will need some form of long term care, in the case of a couple, the odds are a little worse, there is a 90% chance that one member of the couple will need some form of long term care. This care may range from in-home care, independent living, assisted living or nursing home. Most of these options get to be very expensive. Around the clock care in any of these settings could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 per month ($60,000 to $120,000 per year), much more than many can afford with social security benefits.
Many also think that they can rely on Medicaid to pay for their long term care costs. But, the sad reality is that for the average middle class Ohioan, they will have to spend everything before they are eligible to receive Medicaid benefits. Medicaid’s rules allow a single person applying for Medicaid to keep a total of $2,000 in total assets. It’s not much better for a married couple. The couple will keep a maximum of $119,200, and subject their residence to a lien from the state when they apply for Medicaid benefits. In other words if one spouse is healthy and stays home and the other needs a nursing home, the spouse at home will keep a maximum of $119,200 to use for the remainder of their life and lose all of the equity in their home due to the Medicaid lien. We are all living longer and the cost of living continues to increase, which means that money won’t last long.
This is why you need to plan now while you are able to, in order to prevent going broke and losing it all in a nursing home. You may be saying to yourself that you already have an estate plan and that you are taken care of. In most cases, that is simply not true. Having a will, a power of attorney for healthcare and finances and a living will (the basic estate plan) is a great place to start but you need more if you want to protect your assets from long term care costs.
At Saia and Piatt we have simple, easy to use, easy to understand and cost effective ways to protect your assets from the ever growing threat of long term care costs. Call our office at 614-444-3036 to schedule an appointment to learn more about protecting your assets from long term care costs.