There is a lot to think about if you want to be comprehensively prepared for the eventualities of aging.
People routinely think of retirement planning as an exercise in financing activities like golf, travel, and dining out. However, there is another stage of life to think about. After these active retirement years are over, you may go through a period of incapacitation.
Living assistance may be required. This can add a layer of expenses that you may not think about at first when you are contemplating retirement.
There are various different causes of incapacitation. Some people become unable to communicate at all because of severe illnesses. Others become unable to handle their own affairs because of dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is a huge threat. Everyone has heard of this disease, but it can be surprising when you hear how common it has become. Around 13 percent of all seniors suffer from this disease, and over 40 percent of those who are 85 years of age and older are Alzheimer’s sufferers.
Alzheimer’s causes dementia. Many people with Alzheimer’s induced dementia ultimately reside in nursing homes.
Long-Term Care Expenses
Nursing homes and long-term care communities are extremely expensive. Medicare will not pay for long-term care, but Medicaid will assist if you can qualify.
Because Medicaid is a need-based program, your assets are evaluated by the program. You cannot qualify until and unless your resources are within certain prescribed parameters.
You probably have a retirement nest egg that would preclude you from eligibility. If you paid for long-term care out-of-pocket at first, you could spend everything that you have paying for your care. You could then become eligible for Medicaid.
Another option would be to plan ahead in advance with Medicaid eligibility in mind. If you act early, you may be able to divest yourself of assets in your own way before you spend everything paying for long-term care.
Early Signs of Dementia
If you were to experience early dementia signs, or recognize them in a loved one, you may want to explore your options with regard to Medicaid planning. Early action is required because of the five year look-back.
You are penalized, and your eligibility is delayed, if you give away assets within five years of applying for Medicaid.
Because of the above, if you were to recognize early warning signs you may want to start planning ahead so that you are prepared to qualify for Medicaid if and when you need long-term care.
Look For Symptoms
The Alzheimer’s Association is a good source of information about this disease. You may want to visit their website to educate yourself.
There is a section of the site that is devoted to signs and symptoms. To visit this portion of the website, click this link: Alzheimer’s Disease Warning Signs.
Parman & Easterday