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Why retiring adults may need to think about nursing home care

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2024 | Nursing Home Planning

People thinking about retirement often focus on things they find exciting. They make plans to babysit their grandchildren all summer or start preparing for international travel. Before retired adults go off on their next adventure, they may need to sit down to think about something a bit more practical first.

Proper estate planning is a smart move for those approaching their golden years or already enjoying their retirements. Estate planning moves people make early in retirement can have a major impact on their financial stability later. They may need to engage in elder law planning, such as preparing to cover the cost of a bed in a nursing home.

Why should someone just beginning their retirement think about the possibility of needing a bed in a nursing home later?

Nursing home care is incredibly expensive

Trying to afford long-term care costs without a plan made well in advance can be quite difficult. Even those who have saved significant amounts for retirement may not have the necessary capital to cover their nursing home expenses. An analysis of nursing home costs in 2021 indicates that people pay an average of $7,011 per month for a semi-private room that they share with another person.

Long-term care costs are frequently not eligible for Medicare coverage. If older adults expect to use insurance to pay for a room in a nursing home or other long-term care costs, they need to plan in advance.

Medicaid can be difficult to obtain

Medicaid is a health benefit only available to those with limited income and personal resources. The government doesn’t just someone’s current bank account statement and income levels. It is customary to look at a full five years of financial records.

Any significant transfers or gifts in the five years leading up to someone’s application could potentially lead to a penalty or an outright denial of benefits. Only those who prepare at least five years before when they need Medicaid benefits can quickly qualify without the risk of a financial penalty.

If people take the time to consider the possibility that they may require more extensive support later in their retirement, they can make plans early on that improve their chances of getting necessary support later in life. Addressing elder law matters, such as nursing home expenses, is an important step for those concerned about their financial stability in their golden years. Those who plan ahead of time may have fewer challenges when they are at their most vulnerable.