It is almost never too early to begin planning for your senior years. Often times, many of us tend to wait until we are in the latter years of middle age before we start to think about retirement, nursing home care, and similar senior issues. The problem is that the longer we wait to begin our planning, the fewer options we have available to us. If you have assets that you want to preserve, you should begin your Medicaid planning at least five years prior to applying for Medicaid benefits. However, since few people know exactly when they might need nursing home care, you should begin as early as possible to avoid any unpleasant surprises.