Nobody wants to end up in a dump like the Springfield Retirement Castle in The Simpsons or the shady place where Happy Gilmore’s grandma is forced to live and make crafts to sell, but the high cost of long-term care means some people’s options are limited.
AARP’s long-term care calculator estimates that the cost of just one year of care in a nursing home in the Virginia Beach area runs over $82,000 if you want a private room. Staying in an assisted living facility will set you back over $39,000 a year, and having a home healthcare worker stop by for just a few hours a week will cost around $10,000 each year.
These costs add up quickly, and when you consider this doesn’t include medical or pharmaceutical expenses, it is easy to see why even wealthy families struggle to pay for long-term care.
Some people used to be able to prepare for these costs by buying long-term care insurance, but that marketplace is now pretty limited, and very expensive. Those who have already bought long-term care insurance worry that their rates will continue to increase and their coverage decrease despite promises to the contrary because these promises have been broken many times by companies that underestimated the cost of the plans they sold. Today, most people prepare for the prospect of long-term care by working with an estate planning attorney to spend down assets and qualify for Medicaid.
Medicaid is a government-funded healthcare plan that covers long-term care and other expenses for those who qualify financially. Many people spend down or transfer assets around to qualify for this program. When a spend down plan is carefully implemented, assets can still be passed on to future generations without losing Medicaid eligibility.
Our firm works with clients who want to plan ahead in case they need to go on Medicaid in the future, and those who need to take swift action in the fact of a crisis. Our goal is always to make sure the client gets the care they need, while still maintaining their dignity and leaving a legacy for their children and grandchildren.