Solutions 4 Financial Independence: 08/14/18

Published: Aug. 9, 2018 at 7:22 AM EDT
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Question: My husband is going into a nursing home, I am afraid we are going to lose all of our assets. Is it too late to do any planning?

Answer (John Halterman, Beacon Wealth Management): “It is not an uncommon situation. So many Americans are faced with long-term illnesses, chronic illnesses, and a nursing home is actually more common than what a person realizes. But I will tell you, there are options. Take a deep breath; relax because if you don’t know the rules and you don’t do planning, it’s definitely scary. But I want you to know there is definitely an option.”

Question: What are some of the options?

Answer (John Halterman, Beacon Wealth Management): “First of all, I don’t expect her to know all of the Medicaid rules. When people say they are talking about losing their assets, today a nursing home cost about $10,000 a month. Quickly you see that you lose $100,000 a year.

Then in order for Medicaid to pay, you have to spend all of your assets. So you have to basically get rid of those assets. Medicaid, in order to pay, makes you get rid of your assets down to just a few thousand dollars. Now your spouse can have some assets.

So the thing I would tell you is you have to do some emergency Medicaid planning. The first place to go to is what you call an elder law attorney. Elder law attorneys can do some pretty cool things. I am not going to say it is cheap. I am not going to say that it is not going to cost you some assets. But what I know is in this case, we are trying not to lose all of our assets.

So definitely visit an elder law attorney, take their advice, let them walk you through the process. It is definitely a benefit to you and your family and you will be far better off than just paying the nursing home and letting yourself go down to the Medicaid spend out.”