Our estate planning and elder law practice is located in Mount Clemens, Michigan. We are very fortunate to be able to live and work in this extraordinary place that provides so many benefits to its residents. It is also very gratifying to spend our days helping our neighbors prepare for the eventualities of aging so that they can go forward with peace of mind as the years pass.
Clearly, people want to be able to pass along resources to their loved ones, and this is what estate planning is all about. However, even if you plan ahead effectively for retirement with the understanding that your living situation will remain under your control, there is a potential expense that you may not have considered.
The active retirement years that you can easily envision can be fun and fulfilling, but it may not be as simple to wrap your head around the way that life may be when you are in your 80s. If you are thinking that you probably won’t live that long, you should understand the facts. Once you reach the age of 67, it is likely that you will live until you are at least 85. Between the years 2000 and 2010, the segment of the population that was between 85 and 94 years old grew faster than any other.
Once you become an octogenarian, it can be difficult to get around physically, and you may need special living accommodations. Plus, many people that reach an advanced age experience dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the root cause in most cases. You may be surprised to hear that it strikes about four out of every 10 people that are 85 years of age and older.
If you pay into the program for at least 10 years while you are working, you will qualify for Medicare coverage when you reach the age of 65. This is the eligibility age at the time of this writing in 2018, but it is always subject to change via legislative mandate. There has been talk about the possibility of raising the age of eligibility for Medicare coverage as a cost-cutting measure.
Medicare will pay for most of your health care expenses like any other type of health insurance, though there are some out-of-pocket costs. However, Medicare does not pay for custodial care at all. This is the type of assistance that you would receive if you ever require full-time residence in a nursing home.
The prospect of paying for nursing home care out-of-pocket is not a very appealing one when you look into the facts. Genworth Financial conducts in-depth research into the state of long-term care costs in the United States. According to their research, in 2018, the median annual charge for a private room in a nursing home in America was $100,375. For a semi-private room, the figure was close to $90,000.
As we stated in the opening, our offices are in Mount Clemens, which is just outside of Detroit. These countrywide numbers are certainly attention-getting, especially if you spend an extended length of time receiving nursing home care. Here in our area, the costs are higher than the national medians. Last year, the median annual charge for a private room in our city was $109,500.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
What can you do to protect your legacy from these expenses? Medicaid is another government health insurance program that will pay for long-term care. Qualifying is complicated, because there is a $2000 limit on countable assets, and there is also an income limit. Our elder law attorneys have extensive experience in this area.
We can sit down with you, gain an understanding of your situation, and help you create a plan that protects your assets from devastating nursing home costs.
You can give us a call at 586-493-7661 to schedule a consultation. And if you would prefer to gain some broader information in a different forum before you come into the office for a one-on-one meeting, you can attend one of our upcoming seminars. There is no charge, but we ask that you register on our seminar page so that we can reserve your seat in advance.