Financial Planning for the Elderly

Financial planning for the Elderly is a misnomer.  A more accurate title would be Financial Planning for when you become Elderly.  Many people who find themselves caring for elderly parents or other relatives discover that planning for the financing of care of that parent when they may need nursing home or other long-term care should happen well before that care is needed.  

Financial Plans and Medicare

Medicare does not cover long term nursing home care. Medicaid does cover nursing home care but a person has to be financially eligible to receive it, which may mean that spending down your assets in order to become eligible for Medicaid.  Transferring assets to make a person eligible for Medicaid for less than fair market value can result in a period of ineligibility.  Dissipating assets to cover the cost of nursing home care can also result in leaving the healthy spouse indigent.  Creating a financial plan to prevent these scenarios is vital. 

How do you Financially Plan for the Elderly?

The key to successful financial planning for the elderly is to start early.  Consider the following:

  • Consider long-term care insurance – this may be a viable option for someone who has 10 or more years before they actually retire and if they are in good health.  As with any insurance, the younger you are when you get it, the cheaper it is. Long-term care insurance would be essential for any young person who is planning for retirement.
  • Consider how your property is titled – a married couple may or may not want all of their property to be jointly owned as part of their financial or retirement plan.
  • Be flexible review any financial plan often and speak with your financial advisor if an event occurs that may change your financial planning objectives.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

Using financial plan software or retirement planning software can be helpful in developing a financial plan, but it would not be wise to rely on it alone when developing a financial plan for retirement.  Legal documents such as wills, trusts or life estates may need to be drafted to put a financial plan into effect. A lawyer experienced in elder law and or financial planning in would be crucial to a successful financial advisor plan.

Summary

Financial planning for the elderly is a retirement financial plan for when you get older. The best financial action plan is completed before it is needed.  Waiting to plan for long-term care may cause the loss of assets to pay for such care.  Remember that Medicare does not cover nursing home care.  Seek help from a financial planning advisor and a competent lawyer who has experience with Elder law and financial issues.

 

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