When you are passing through the earlier stages of adulthood, nursing home expenses are probably going to be the furthest thing from your mind. Even as you start to get older, your ability to remain active is probably very important to you. It can be hard to imagine a time when you will need nursing home care.
Without question, you should do everything possible to keep yourself fit and healthy, and thinking positive is always going to be a good idea. At the same time, you probably don’t expect your house to burn down, but you have homeowners insurance. Responsible people protect themselves from eventualities that may never happen so that they are not completely unprepared.
You can apply this logic to the eventualities of aging. If you don’t act pragmatically, a great deal can be lost.
Statistics show that most American senior citizens will someday need living assistance. Clearly, there are many people who can get the help that they need from family members, friends and neighbors. They remain in their own homes, and they do not incur significant expenses, at least not at first.
However, even if you have a very solid support system, nursing home expenses can enter the picture if your level of need exceeds the abilities of your caregivers.
Of course, there are also people who need professional help from the start. Sometimes in-home caregivers can be engaged when the needs are relatively minor, but of course many people reside in assisted living communities and nursing homes.
A lot of practically minded people recognize the fact that they may ultimately reside in a nursing home or assisted living community, but they’re not too concerned about the potential expenses. This is because they know that they will qualify for Medicare at the age of 65.
Since Medicare is a government health insurance program that is in place to provide assistance with health care costs that senior citizens are typically going to incur, it would be sensible to assume that it is set up to absorb long-term care costs. Unfortunately, whether it makes sense or not, Medicare will not pick up the tab for a stay in a nursing home or assisted living community.
When you absorb all of these somewhat unpleasant facts, you may resign yourself to the prospect of paying for nursing home expenses out-of-pocket if you ever need it. For many, this is not possible at all, because nursing homes are very expensive.
Even if you have a relatively significant nest egg to draw from, everything that you have saved could wind up going to a nursing home if you have to write checks for your care. There could be nothing left to leave behind to your loved ones.
How expensive is long-term care? We practice in Grand Forks, North Dakota. In our area, the median annual charge for a private room in a nursing home is $104,313. If you are willing to sacrifice a bit of privacy for a lower price, you’re not going to get a very significant discount. You’re looking at a median annual cost of $100,663 for a semi private room in a Grand Forks area nursing home.
When you consider the fact that many people incur nursing home expenses for multiple years, you can see that the numbers can be truly staggering.
Nursing Home Asset Protection
We have painted a picture that is not very pretty, but there are things that you can do to protect your assets from devastating nursing home expenses. To put it bluntly, if you require nursing home care at the end of your life, the nursing home will probably be your final place of residence.
Given this reality, you could give assets to your loved ones when your twilight years start to come into focus so that you can qualify for Medicaid. This is a jointly administered federal/state government program that does pay for nursing home care. In fact, the majority of senior citizens who are residing in nursing homes are enrolled in this program.
The rules are complicated, so fully informed advance planning is key. Elder law attorneys assist clients who would like to position their assets optimally with potential future long-term care expenses in mind.
Download Our Special Report
Our firm has prepared an in-depth special report that will provide you with added layers of information about nursing home asset protection. This report is being offered free of charge right now, and you can access your copy with a couple of mouse clicks.
To obtain your copy of the report, click this link: Medicaid Planning Report.