You should prepare for each stage of life when you are looking ahead toward the future. The active retirement years will be the first step, and people work hard and save diligently so they can enjoy retirement to the fullest.
This is the easy part to handle from an emotional standpoint, but it is more difficult to pragmatically look at the twilight years that will inevitably follow.
When you are in your middle 60s, your life expectancy is into the mid-80s, and many people that reach an advanced age need help with their activities of daily living. In fact, seven out of every 10 senior citizens will require living assistance at some point.
Aging in Place
Long-term care facilities are equipped to meet the needs of people that have mobility challenges, and some people think this is the only viable option if you are in this position. In fact, aging in place is a concept that has been gaining traction over recent years, and it is an alternative.
You can engage a qualified contractor to modify your home in various ways to make life easier for you in light of your specific limitations. This can include the installation of grab bars and handrails, outdoor ramps, motion sensor lighting, door levers, and smart home technology.
These are just a handful of the countless different modifications that can be made. The comfort and familiarity of your home can be very difficult to walk away from and aging in place can be the solution.
People that are taking advantage of the aging place approach often get help from their loved ones. In some cases, adult children will bring aging parents into their homes and make the appropriate modifications to make caregiving more efficient.
This is an economical approach, but eventually, a professional may be required to provide the level care that is needed. And of course, some people are never in a position to get all the assistance that they need from unpaid caregivers.
Licensed in-home health aides can be engaged, but their services are expensive. In 2020, the median monthly charge for an in-home health aide in the Cincinnati area was $4862. This was significantly more than the 2019 figure, so the costs are on the rise.
Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver
Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care, so this is not the answer. Medicaid will pay for living assistance if you can gain eligibility, but there is a $2000 asset limit.
In addition to traditional Medicaid coverage, there is a Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver program that will pay for in-home care.
You could give your children their inheritances in advance in an effort to create a financial profile that will lead to eligibility for the home care program. However, you have to act in light of the five-year look back period.
Your eligibility would be delayed if you divest yourself of assets within five years of the application submission date. Advance planning is necessary, but a lot of people need the income that is generated by the assets they would have to give away.
This is a conundrum on the surface, but there is a solution. You could fund an irrevocable, income only Medicaid trust long before you need paid living assistance. The principal would be out of your reach, but you would be able to accept distributions of the trust’s earnings.
If you do in fact need paid care more than five years after you fund the trust, the principal in the trust would not count. As a result, you would be eligible for the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver program.
Take Action Today
We are here to help if you are ready to implement a plan for aging that culminates in the effective passing of your legacy. The exact details will vary, so we will gain an understanding of your financial position and your objectives and explain your options.
At the end of the process, you will go forward with a custom crafted plan that provides you with peace of mind. If you are ready to get started, you can schedule a consultation at our Cincinnati elder care planning office if you call us at 513-721-1513.
There is also a contact form on this site you can fill out if you would prefer to send us a message, and if you reach out electronically, you will receive a prompt response.