Livens & Reed, PLLC

It's never too early to consider how to pay for long-term care

Many Texas residents and others around the nation often worry about the time in their lives when they are no longer able to care for themselves. With studies showing that most senior adults over the age of 65 will need assistance to eat, dress or take a bath, these concerns are warranted. Long-term care costs can be exorbitant, and it is recommended by financial experts that everyone should have a plan to address this future need.

The Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging reports that, in many cases, long-term care is provided by family members with no cost associated. However, over 33% of senior adults will eventually live in a skilled nursing facility with an estimated price tag of more than $100,000 a year. Home healthcare services, which cost over $50,000 annually, are sought by about 40% of older adults.

Even with private health insurance and Medicare benefits, many individuals find themselves with depleted retirement and savings accounts when seeking long-term care. In addition, not everyone who seeks a separate long-term care insurance policy will qualify for it. For example, those with chronic health conditions may not be able to secure a policy.

With the expectation of high costs, it is imperative to make plans to pay for ongoing care as soon as possible. In addition to traditional long-term care insurance, there are also hybrid policies to consider that include both insurance and annuities. Others may rely on equity in their homes or develop a plan to "spend down" their assets to qualify for Medicaid.

Whatever path one chooses, it would be wise to contact a Texas attorney who deals with elder law. An experienced lawyer will help clients develop a long-term care plan specifically designed for their needs. A thoughtfully considered plan will provide future peace of mind for those approaching their retirement years.

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Livens & Reed, PLLC

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