Everyone should do some estate planning.

Everyone—regardless of how small their wealth—should do at least some estate planning. 

Some things to consider include:

• A will: This is the most basic of estate-planning documents, yet a Caring.com survey this year showed that more than half of Americans don’t have a will. That’s surprising and troubling all at the same time. A will can provide certainty and clarity and eliminate  the grey areas when property is moving from one generation to the next. Don’t just assume everything will end up with the people you want it to if you fail to leave specific instructions.

• A trust: Not everyone needs a trust, but it often makes sense. Basically, a trust allows you to control your assets from the grave. You can set certain restrictions, which is especially helpful if your kids are young or they don’t really manage money well. That way you may be able to keep them from blowing their inheritance all at once. For example, a restriction might be that they don’t receive the money until they earn a college degree.

• Power of attorney: It’s important to assign someone power of attorney so that if you become incapacitated that person can speak on your behalf and sign important documents. You can also have a living will to outline your wishes, which could help your family make tough decisions about your healthcare.

If you don’t plan for your long term care who will?

Long Term Care Insurance Quote


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Sources of Help for Seniors

There are many government-supported benefits for seniors, including some programs that are not widely known. Seniors and their caregivers can find services through some helpful online resources listed below.

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice has a Home Care and Hospice Agency Locator and a Caring Store with workbooks and manuals for caregivers.

The Visiting Nurse Associations of America has a Find-a-Provider website.

The Eldercare.net website contains a searchable database of resources that are available at the state and community level. For example, there are connections for legal services, elder abuse prevention, health insurance assistance, home health care, and long term care. Users can enter their data to search for specific programs to meet their individual needs.

The National Council on Aging provides a website called BenefitsCheckUp.org on programs for the elderly, which it says can help some seniors save thousands of dollars on the basic costs of living.


The Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA) established a national network of federal, state, and local agencies that help older adults live independently, called the National Aging Network. Anyone 60 or older is eligible for services under the OAA; those most in need get priority. The network includes 56 State Agencies on Aging, 622 Area Agencies on Aging, and more than 260 Title VI Native American aging programs. Its programs are supported by tens of thousands of service providers and volunteers. A few examples of the many programs in the network are:

EyeCare America provides access to free medical eye care and annual eye exams;

Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which provides stay-at-home alternatives to living in a nursing home;

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), which gives workshops that help people manage health conditions such as arthritis, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, cancer, depression, anxiety, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, and HIV/AIDS.


For information on Long Term Care Insurance, see the Guide To Long Term Care

Long Term Care Insurance Quote


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The Cost of Long Term Care Insurance versus The Cost of Not Insuring

The cost of long term care insurance policies may seem high to some people, but it may actually be a less expensive in the long run than not insuring.

Not insuring and depending on family caregiving has hidden costs:

Lost income. Family members sometimes must leave their jobs to care for aging parents. The consequences are lost salary, lost Social Security benefits, and difficulty getting back into the job market after the absence. Also, leaving a job can mean loss of health insurance.

Increased Health Risks. Caregiving is stressful physically and psychologically and may result in injury or illness to the caregiver. Because of the demands of caregiving, including financial demands, family caregivers may be less able to take care of themselves and their own health.
genworth nursing cost 2016
Lost Retirement Assets and Less Investment in the Family. In a study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and Evercare, 47% of working caregivers reported using up all or most of their savings while giving care. These costs can mean less money available for such expenses as retirement and the education of children.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says nearly 70 percent of those 65 or older will need long term care at some point. Since nursing home costs can be $80,000 a year or more, having long term care insurance is an essential part of financial planning. Long Term Care Insurance can pay the expenses of both family care in the home, and institutional care.


 

Long Term Care Insurance Newsletter


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Turkey, stuffing and a side of long-term care

Happy Thanksgiving
Have Piece of Mind With the Piece of Turkey

One of the ways that I recommend people discuss “sensitive” issues like long-term care is to use stories about others who have experienced financial and emotional woes due to their lack of planning with products like LTC. I brought this up recently while presenting to a group of retirees and a man made the point to me that he agreed with this approach. He further stated that while sitting down to have dinner with his adult son and wife, he brought up the story of a neighbor who hadn’t prepared for LTC and was now in a nursing home.

The man made the point to his son and wife that this was causing all of the assets that he had saved for retirement, and had hoped to pass on to his children, to be slowly but surely depleted. The man said that he didn’t want that to happen to his son and daughter-in-law, and especially to his beloved granddaughter. So he made his son commit to speak with his insurance agent about long-term care.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE


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Boomers Look for Peace of Mind But Most Won’t Have It

The last of the Baby Boomers celebrate their 50th birthday this year and may spend one third of their lifetime in retirement. The dream of life after work is becoming a nightmare reality.

Boomers are not taking the steps necessary to assure they achieve the one thing most are looking for in retirement: peace of mind. Financially they are in a mid-life crisis. “Will I have enough income when I retire?” Peace of mind will elude most boomers, not for lack of desire, but for lack of planning.

When we are in our 30s and even 40s we usually do not have much experience with the world of care needing and care giving. It seems in the last 5 years incidences of long term care are showing up more in the Boomers life. Relatives, friends, even spouses may be the next one being diagnosed with a condition, many that will require care later (Parkinsons, Alzheimer’s, etc). Unfortunately just the diagnosis is enough to disqualify them from purchasing care insurance.

When the care is needed it is usually first paid for with income. Then if more money is needed to pay for care the next to go are savings and investments.

Without long term care planning most Boomers will find their nest egg empty having spent it on long term care. Many who could buy insurance delay the purchase only to find out later that they can no longer afford the premium because the cost is higher the older you are when you buy a policy.

One way many could have protected their nest egg was by using the interest on their investment to pay the insurance premium. $100,000 x 5% = $5000 – taxes ($5000-$750=$4250). The average LTC premium for a couple is $3600. Spending $3600 a year to save the $100,000. Kiplinger Financial predicts the cost of care to be $250,000 a year in 17 years and as much as $600,00 total spent on care. (link).

But what tends to happen more often is health changes, now uninsurable and without peace of mind.


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Your coulda, shoulda, woulda long term care insurance.

Right now you’re thinking about long-term care insurance, it’s called coulda, shoulda, woulda coverage.

Then a change of health happens and insurance is no longer available.
Is it worth saving $2000 a year on a premium to risk $250,000 on long term care bills? Could you afford to withdraw $250,000 from your retirement savings to pay for one year in a nursing home?

Read more at http://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T036-C000-S002-a-fresh-look-at-long-term-care.html

But maybe you’ll be lucky and won’t need long term care. 3 out of 10 won’t. Which group do you think you will be in?


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