The Livens Law Firm

July 2018 Archives

Could long-term care options expand to include foster homes?

Foster homes may be an alternative to nursing homes for seniors who need daily living help but not medical care. These homes, also known as adult care homes or board-and-care homes, provide a home-like setting for clients with round-the-clock supervision, social interaction and independence. In Texas and other states, these homes blend into local neighborhoods and are an affordable housing option for seniors who need long-term care without the need for nursing homes.

Important financial talks to have about estate planning

Family dynamics have changed with adult children reversing roles with their parents and having sit-down talks about finances. In a recent survey, parents in Texas over age 60 admit they have never discussed estate planning with family members. Adult children worry that conversations about money, wills and designating personal representatives could cause conflict or even sour relationships with their parents.

Relatives may be responsible for long-term care costs

Recent studies show that over 70 percent of seniors will require extensive healthcare services after age 65. The Employee Benefit Research Institute has determined that only 13 percent of elders have secured long-term care insurance to avoid the high out-of-pocket costs associated with long-term care. Many residents in Texas and other states will face high medical costs without the protection of LTCI.

ABLE accounts may be a better option than inheritance trusts

Making long-term financial arrangements for a disabled family member may get easier. Until recently, people with disabilities could only own $2000 in assets to continue to receive state and federal assistance. The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act was created in 2015 to allow states, such as Texas, to launch tax-advantaged savings programs for disabled individuals. An ABLE Savings Account differs from a Special Needs Trust, which has a minimum contribution of $10,000. In most states, ABLE accounts can be started with just $25 and may be a better option than inheritance trusts.

Skyrocketing healthcare and long-term care costs in retirement

Retirement should be a time to look forward to. However, many will worry about the transition from paycheck to Social Security check and from company insurance to Medicare. The latest study from Nationwide Retirement Institute shows that 73 percent of well-to-do seniors say their retirement-related fears are centered on the rising cost of healthcare. In Texas and elsewhere, 70 percent of seniors age 65 and over will need long-term care over the course of their lifetime.

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