As elder law attorneys, we speak to a lot of senior citizens that want to learn about potentially concerning legal matters. Unfortunately, there are others that do not seek out this type of advice at the right time. In many instances, clients come to us after problems have arisen. At that point, it can be difficult to mitigate the damage.
Information is the key to a comfortable, secure retirement that ultimately allows you to leave behind a suitable legacy to your loved ones. In this blog post, we will look at some frequently asked questions that elder law attorneys hear. Additionally, we will provide answers that will help you understand some important issues.
Is it true that I can start to receive Social Security when I am just 62 years of age?
Anytime we discuss the parameters surrounding Social Security, we point out the fact that they are subject to change via legislative mandate. That being stated, at the present time, you can in fact start to collect a monthly Social Security payout when you are 62. However, it would be a reduced benefit that would be somewhere between 70 and 75 percent of your full benefit.
Plus, you are penalized by $1 for every $2 that you earn above a particular threshold. In 2023, the limit is $21,240.
The age of full Social Security benefit eligibility depends upon the year of your birth. For people born between 1943 and 1954, the eligibility age is 66.
It then goes up by two months per year, so if you were born in 1955, you would be eligible two months after your 66th birthday. This two-month per year graduation ends in 1960. People born during that year or later become eligible for a full Social Security benefit at the age of 67.
We should point out the fact that it is possible to delay your application for Social Security benefits until you are as old as 70 years of age. If you go this route, your benefit would go up by eight percent for every year that you delay after you are eligible for your full Social Security benefit.
When can I get Medicare and how does it work?
The eligibility age for Medicare coverage is different than the Social Security eligibility age. Everyone who has paid into the program sufficiently will become eligible for Medicare when they reach the age of 65.
This program is broken down into four sections: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. The first portion covers inpatient hospitalization. For most people, they do not have to pay a premium monthly, but they do have a deductible per benefit period. There can also be co-payments for long hospital stays.
Medicare Part B pays for visits to doctors and outpatient care. There is a monthly premium for this coverage, and in 2023, the standard premium amount is $164.90. There is a $226 deductible, and there is a 20 percent co-payment requirement.
Part C allows you to combine your Medicare benefit with private insurance, and Part D is the prescription drug component. There are monthly premiums, deductibles, and copayments for Part D coverage.
Does Medicare pay for long-term care?
This is one of the most important matters that we address. Since Medicare exists to provide assistance for seniors that need health care, it would be natural to assume it would pay for living assistance.
The program will pay for convalescent care after an injury or illness when the patient is expected to recover fully. However, it does not pay for custodial care. This is the type of care that you would receive in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
What percentage of seniors require assistance with their activities of daily living?
According to the website LongTermCare.gov, which is maintained by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, seven out of every 10 people that reach the age of 65 will need living assistance eventually. About 35 percent of them will eventually reside in nursing homes.
How much does it cost to stay in a nursing home?
According to Genworth Financial, the median annual charge for a private room in a nursing home the Oklahoma City area was $88,695 in 2021. The average length of stay is 12 months, and of course, married couples may be faced with two rounds of these costs.
Consult with our firm to explore solutions!
As you can see, long-term care costs can potentially consume everything that you would like to leave to your family. Fortunately, there are solutions, and you can set up an appointment to discuss them with an Oklahoma City estate planning lawyer if you call us at 405-843-6100.
You can reach our Tulsa office at 918-615-2700, If you would rather reach out electronically, send us a message through our contact page, and you will receive a swift response.
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