Make a Financial Plan

Do you know if the government will pay for your care when you are older? Do not count on it. This is not just a cliché saying, it’s the truth.  

Most people assume that Medicare, Medicaid, or some other form of insurance such as AARP is going to pay for their care when they are older. The #1 question I am asked is, “does Medicare/Medicaid pay for this service?” I have discovered that the majority of people assume Uncle Sam is going to pick up the tab but he isn’t the good Uncle you may have had growing up.  

In most cases, personal in-home care agencies, independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing facilities, adult day care centers, adult family care homes, and continuing care retirement communities are primarily “private pay.” These costs can be overwhelming and may come as a shock to many people. However, there are a few financial assistance programs through Medicaid and the VA that may pay for a portion of the total cost of care.  

Last month we discussed organizing your legal affairs and today we’ll review making a financial plan which is step three in our five-part series. Your financial planning goal is to balance creating the largest possible monthly income while maintaining it for the longest period of time.  

Whether you are caring for your loved one or you are being proactive, we always encourage people to start with a frank assessment of their total assets. Often, people create an investment portfolio that is appropriate for the stage of life when they set it up, however, it may be less appropriate for supporting them in later years. This is always a great time to contact your financial advisor to visit the current status of your portfolio.  

It would be important to ask yourself, “Do I have a Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance policy? Do I know what it covers? What is a reverse mortgage? Do I qualify for any financial assistance such as Veterans benefits (i.e. Aid & Attendance Benefits), Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC), or straight Medicaid? What’s the difference? Should I sell my property or give it to my children? Do I need to go broke paying for care or is there another way? What is the difference between Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicare Advantage?”  

These questions can be overwhelming, and we’ve found that many times people are given misinformation hurting their ability to plan and afford the care they desire. It is important to discuss your finances with your financial advisor, your family, and your power of attorney to make sure that everyone understands the type of care you would like and can afford.  

Now we have covered, (1.) Advance Care Planning, (2.) Organize Legal Affairs and (3.) Make a Financial Plan. Over the next two months, we’ll discuss the remaining steps of the five-part series; (4.) Find the Right Care and (5.) Choose the Right Providers. Need help understanding the complex world of senior care? Get a free copy of Florida’s 5 Step Guide to Senior Care by calling our senior care expert hotline at 941-676-3411. 

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