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Avoid a critical problem by starting long-term care planning

There is a substantial problem in Texas and the rest of the country with respect to long-term care planning. People do not get around to doing it because of lack of funding or just simply by putting off the inevitable. No one likes to think of being incapacitated at any time in the future; indeed, there is sense of widespread denial by the elderly citizenry regarding the need for long-term care planning. However, statistics say that the great majority of persons currently entering their retirement years will at some time in the future need a period of long-term care.

Additionally, respected studies show that the average annual cost of nursing home care in 2012 was between $81,000 and $90,000. Additionally, assisted-living facilities were an average of $42,000 per year. If a person owns a home and has not done any long-term care planning, it is likely that the home will be taken in partial reimbursement for the costs associated with a long period of nursing home full-time care.

There are ways to plan and to at least retain one's home if it appears that Medicaid assistance will be the main way to finance a potential nursing home stay. Doing it by procrastination is not the answer; that is a risky approach to a problem that could be handled with far less economic impact. Therefore, it is best to consult with one's estate planning attorney to determine how and what to set up for the future.

Additionally, a Texas resident cannot tap into the Medicaid option if there are significant savings, financial accounts and other financial means available. These items will have to be spent down prior to applying for Medicaid. The most effective and wise thing to accomplish for a person approaching retirement is to start a process of long-term care planning in cooperation with one's elder law attorney as quickly as possible. In that way, a person's funds and assets can be passed on to one's family instead of turning them over to nursing homes and government agencies.

Source: dispatch.com, "Costs of long-term care can sap your life savings", Michele Parente, Dec. 7, 2015

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