Planning for retirement involves more than simply financing the active period that will immediately follow your working career. Many people are surprised when they hear that the segment of the population that is at least 85 years of age is growing faster than any other. And of course advances in medical science take place virtually every day, plus people are learning more about how lifestyle choices impact their longevity.
It’s great to live a long life, but you must be prepared for the expenses that go along with reaching an advanced age. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, around 70% of senior citizens will eventually need long-term care. This care is expensive, with the average cost for a year in an assisted-living community in the United States in 2010 approaching $40,000. To be able to address these expenses you must plan ahead and be aware of all of the resources that are available to you.
To this end veterans of the United States armed forces would do well to be aware of an often overlooked benefit called the Veterans Aid and Attendance special pension, which is often shortened to “Veterans A & A.” This benefit is intended for wartime veterans who are defined as having financial need who require assistance with their routine day-to-day tasks.
From a financial perspective, there is a resource limit of $80,000. But your home, some personal property, and your car or truck don’t count toward this figure. In terms of length of service, to qualify you must have served for at least 90 days with no less than one of these days taking place during a time of war.
Veterans A & A can be a big help to former military personnel who need long-term care assistance. The Veterans Benefits Administration can fill you in on all the details and they can be contacted in person, online, or over the phone.
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.