How to Protect Your Assets from Long Term Care Costs

Millions of Americans live in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or have an in-home caregiver. In fact, according to the Institute on Aging, 1.3 million Americans live in nursing homes, with millions more utilizing assisted living or home care and, by 2030, 20 percent of the population will be 65 or older. The chances are that a number of us will spend our later years in a nursing home, which can quickly run a bank account completely dry if the proper estate planning steps are not taken beforehand. An Anne Arundel County Elder Law attorney will be able to provide invaluable assistance.

The Cost of Long Term Care is Rising Rapidly as Americans Lose Net Worth

According to the Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey Maryland, the following represent the average annual costs for elder care in our state:

  • Homemaker Services: $44,616;
  • Home Health Aid Services: $45,760;
  • Adult Day Health Care: $20,540;
  • One Bedroom Single Occupancy Assisted Living: $46,800;
  • Semi Private Nursing Home Room: $101,379; and
  • Private Nursing Home Room: $110,230.

As you can see, the cost of these vital types of elder health care are extreme, and only growing more expensive by the year. Consider the median net worths, according to Forbes, for the following ages, and it becomes apparent that paying for nursing home care or assisted living would financially ruin even a well-off couple or individual in a very short time:

  • 65 to 69 years old: $194,226 median net worth;
  • 70 to 74 years old: $181,078 median net worth; and
  • 75 years and older: $155,714 median net worth.

The average American is only becoming less financially solvent as well, with the median net worth down substantially ever since the 2007 economic crisis. People have not recovered and, as an older adult, you have less time, or no time left, to work to bolster your savings. So how do you protect yourself from the staggering costs of long-term care in Maryland?

There are a few options to take in order to afford long term care. Medicare can pay for up to 100 days of care, though this is difficult to make happen. Private long-term health care insurance could be purchased, though it is still expensive and premiums are very high. Medicaid may be the best option, though in order to qualify, you must meet the financial requirements; having too much net worth can make you ineligible. To become eligible, you could simply spend your assets on expenses and pay off debts until your assets run dry and you qualify for Medicaid, which is obviously not always the preferred method, or you could move your assets into an asset protection trust. A Medicaid Asset Protection Trust is an estate planning strategy to qualify you for Medicaid to help pay for your nursing home costs while protecting your family home and assets.

Call Maryland Estate Planning Attorney Tara K. Frame Today

Before you make any big decisions regarding your long term care, it is essential to speak with a qualified, experienced Pasadena trust attorney. Reach out to us at Frame & Frame today 410-255-0373 for assistance with protecting your assets from long term care costs.