Your senior years can seem like they are a world away when you are going through life on a day-to-day basis. However, as your children get older, you may start to recognize the fact that you are getting older as well. When you are looking at a young adult who was once a child, your own position can start to come into focus.
There can be good times ahead if you create a retirement plan that will allow you to put your working years behind you while you are still active enough to enjoy them. However, there is another stage of life that you should prepare for as well, and there are some profound realities to address.
Nursing Home Expenses
In the elder law arena, the matter of long-term care is a very pressing concern. There are three powerful facts that you should understand about elder care when you are developing a plan for aging.
First of all, you should be aware of the fact that the vast majority of senior citizens are going to need help with their day-to-day needs eventually. Even if you have taken good care of yourself, once you reach your eighties, you are probably not going to be able to handle all of your own activities of daily living.
Long-term care is very expensive. Depending on the facility and the location, a year in a private room in a nursing home can cost over $100,000, and the average length of stay is over two years. Assisted living communities are also expensive, and professional in-home caregivers are costly as well.
Most senior citizens are going to qualify for Medicare when they reach the age of 65. Since the program is designed to help senior citizens manage costs that they are probably going to incur, it would be logical to assume that the program will pay for long-term care.
As illogical as it may sound, Medicare does not pay for living assistance. The program will pay for rehabilitative care after an injury or illness, but it won’t pay for long-term custodial care.
Let’s summarize this trifecta of bad news: Most seniors will need elder care, it is very costly, and Medicare will not pay for it.
You should certainly brace yourself for potential long-term care costs when you are devising a plan for aging. Though Medicare will not pay for living assistance, Medicaid does pay for long-term care. Since the program is intended for people with financial need, it takes careful and informed planning to keep assets in the family as you take steps that lead to Medicaid eligibility.
If you would like to discuss the matter with a licensed professional, send us a message through this page to set up a free consultation: Indianapolis IN Elder Care Attorneys.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.