No one really likes to consider the possibility that they will spend the last few years of their life in a nursing home – but not considering it could have devastating consequences. The reality is that a significant percentage of people will spend time in a long-term care facility and the financial impact could throw you and your spouse into poverty if you failed to plan ahead.
The overage life expectancy in the United States has nearly doubled in the last century. While this is certainly good news for all of us, it also creates a few potential problems. Living longer does not mean that the natural aging process has stopped, or even slowed down. The natural aging process continues to cause physical and mental deterioration as we get older, we just live longer despite that deterioration. Not surprisingly, 80 percent of people over the age of 65 will end up in a long-term care facility before the end of their life. Are you and your spouse financially prepared for the possibility of needing to pay for long-term care? If you are not, now is the time to start preparing.
In the State of Missouri, the average cost of care for a year stay in a nursing home facility in a semi-private room as of 2013 was $52, 925 – and those costs continue to rise. If you want a private room, the average cost for a year increases to $59,860. The average length of stay in a long-term care facility is 2.5 years. Therefore, the average costs of nursing home care for a semi-private room in Missouri is $132,313. Do you have $132,313 to spare on long-term care expenses? Statistically speaking, the median household wealth remaining after paying for long-term care is less than $6,000. Moreover, according to the Wall Street Journal, 86 percent of widows live below the poverty level across the country. If you worked your entire life to provide for you and your family it doesn’t seem fair to lose it all because you or your spouse need long-term care.
Fortunately, there is a way to avoid losing all your hard earned assets and/or living in poverty should you, or your spouse, need long-term care during your “Golden Years”. By incorporating Medicaid planning into your overall estate plan you can protect your assets and ensure that you will qualify for Medicaid when the time comes to cover long-term care expenses.
If you have additional questions or concerns about long-term care and Medicaid planning, contact the experienced Missouri estate planning attorneys at Amen, Gantner & Capriano, Your Estate Matters, LLC by calling (314) 966-8077 to schedule an appointment.