Richard and Debbie came to us looking for help regarding their long-term outlook. In their fifties, they enjoyed great careers. They were living the proverbial dream, with assurance that their retirement years would live up to the promise they’d saved and planned for. Their future was predictably happy, with one important exception.
Close friends, Alex and Sondra, had related a situation that concerned them a great deal. Sondra’s parents had retired with plenty of assets, only to have them rapidly diminish, due to health issues, and long-term care required for her mother.
Richard and Debbie recognized the danger, and asked us to protect themselves from the same fate.
Expanded life spans present challenges
It’s no secret that our population is living longer. That typically means that people enjoy many more retirement years than previous generations. It also means that more savings must be set aside to accommodate those additional years.
Those additional years also present health challenges that typically get expensive. Several issues present themselves, related to vision, mobility, cognitive ability, and more. Families can usually handle mild situations. Many, however, are not equipped to care for aging spouses or parents in more serious conditions.
The following facts aren’t for the faint of heart:
• Retirees face a 40% chance of spending time in a nursing home
• 10% of those who enter a nursing home will be there for five or more years
• Nursing home care easily exceeds $8,000 / month
• The average stay in a nursing home is 2 years, and sometimes 3.
• Medicare helps little, or not at all
Legal and financial solutions are available
The right solution varies from one situation to another. Make your plans early, well before retirement. Attorneys are good at handling crisis situations, but advance planning opens up more options.
Having a legal solution OR a financial solution isn’t won’t give you the best result. To optimize the outcome, harmonize the efforts of legal and financial professionals. With both of them having the same understanding of your goals, they will craft a plan that gives you the best chance of achieving them.
What most people don’t know, is this critical point: A traditional estate planning attorney cannot accomplish your goals, you need an estate planning and elder law attorney
Some of the pieces of the plan might include traditional long term care insurance or a long term care partnership program asset protection policy. An asset protection trust might also be included. Veterans have additional options available to them. The instruments vary, but the basic idea is to prevent your assets from being prematurely diminished by nursing homes, predators, and creditors.
What we mostly want people to know is this:
• Start your planning sooner, rather than later
• Work with trusted, highly qualified financial and elder care legal professionals
• Harmonize the efforts of legal and financial planning
Do you have have everything in order?
When was the last time your estate documents were reviewed in light of your current situation and goals? Call Quinn Estate & Elder Law if you have questions or need help. 636-394-7242