The statistics are intimidating. Seventy percent (70%) of seniors will need some form of long-term care. Neither Medicare nor the typical health insurance policy provides coverage for this need. Yet the costs can reach, or even exceed, ten thousand dollars a month.
So many people, even professional advisors, misunderstand how to properly address this risk. A few years ago, I received a phone call from an attorney. He told me about a senior couple he represented. They had approximately $200,000 in assets when the husband suddenly fell chronically ill. He would need long term care. They were obviously worried about how they would pay for his care.
The attorney’s next words startled me. He asked, “Should I tell them to get divorced?” It was a sincere, earnest question. He was trying to help the husband qualify for Medicaid assistance while helping the healthy spouse maintain sufficient assets on which she could live.
The maze through long term care assistance, and its effect on estate planning, is a complicated one. Idaho’s rules can seem to even encourage a couple facing long term care to get divorced. However, there are other options which should be explored. Unfortunately, I continue to hear so much incorrect information, often passed on by well-meaning neighbors, friends and relatives.
Given the daunting statistics, and the misinformation about paying for long term care, it is not surprising that many seniors do nothing. They simply do not know what to do, and therefore, are left with “planning paralysis.”
Learning about your long-term care options is critically important. Indeed, there are options that need not have a dramatic impact on your current circumstances. However, those options may disappear if no preparation is done before the health crisis hits. Come to a free presentation to find out what options may be available to you.