Don’t Be Too Quick to Judge Medicaid: You Might Need It in Retirement

Don’t Be Too Quick to Judge Medicaid: You Might Need It in Retirement

Long-term care planning is an important part of retirement planning and something we regularly talk to our clients about. One thing people often don’t realize, as Jordan Rau in this helpful NY Times article points out, is that Medicaid plays a vital role in long-term care planning and currently accounts for 42 percent of Medicaid expenditures. Some also don’t realize, as Rau continues, that many recipients “entered old age solidly middle class but turned to Medicaid, which was once thought of as a government program exclusively for the poor, after exhausting their insurance and assets.” Medicaid, then, isn’t a merely a system for the poor who need food assistance, but rather it’s an important social safety-net for retirees who can’t keep up with the pace of health care costs: A combination of longer life spans and spiraling health care costs has left an estimated 64 percent of the Americans in nursing homes dependent on Medicaid. In Alaska, Mississippi and West Virginia, Medicaid was the primary payer for three-quarters or more of nursing home residents in 2015, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.   “People are simply outliving their relatives and their resources, and fortunately, Medicaid has been there,” said Mark Parkinson, the president of the American Health Care Association, a national nursing home industry group. With all of the proposed changes taking place in congress, the full article in the NY Times is worth reading, and I think it provides a helpful perspective on the need for health care reform and the need for responsible, proactive retirement...
How to Be Prepared for Involuntary Retirement

How to Be Prepared for Involuntary Retirement

Here’s a helpful retirement planning article that I came across this morning over at cbsnews.com Money Watch. I appreciated this piece because it touches on something that I regularly bring up with our clients, which is that saving for retirement should be viewed as something much more than just a time during which one’s savings can be applied to the pleasures of life. Hopefully retirement does create such pleasures but, in many ways, retirement savings should also be viewed as the largest emergency reserve fund that one will ever accumulate. This is because, as the article rightly points out, retirement is not always voluntary: For many older workers, their retirement “plan” is to keep working as long as possible. Unfortunately, life events often intervene and force people to retire sooner than they expected. This may result from job loss, illness, disability, caregiving responsibilities or some other reason. This unanticipated situation can force people to make many decisions quickly and without a lot of forethought, leading to inappropriate choices. To put this differently, many people don’t take saving for retirement seriously because they think they’ll simply be able to work until they die. I genuinely hope that all of us are still going strong like Banana George was when he was still barefoot waterskiing at age 85 (see video below), but, for many Americans, old age will inevitably set in and they simply won’t be able to do the things they once could, which includes not only play, but work. I don’t bring up the realities of aging in an attempt to scare one into saving for retirement; instead, it’s my hope that retirement will...
FAQs about Long Term Care Planning

FAQs about Long Term Care Planning

Our firm recently attended a continuing education session on long-term care planning, a topic with which we regularly assist our clients. One of the panel speakers, Brian Gordon with MAGA Long Term Care Planning, followed up to provide us with a helpful recap of some of the questions we tackled: Q. What’s the best age for clients to consider purchasing LTCI? A. This isn’t a question of chronological age, but rather a person’s stage of life. The best time to purchase is when: A client is financially stable and feels premiums are affordable and can be maintained. A client wants to protect retirement income. A client has limited debt. So if you have clients or family members who meet these criteria, regardless of age, now is the best time to plan for the consequences of a long term care event. Remember, the longer a person waits, the more expensive coverage will be and the more likely that a health issue could impact their premium or eligibility.  Last year, the average age of our clients purchasing new policies was 56 years old. Q. What conversation should I have with affluent clients who want to self-insure their LTC risk? A. If your clients can afford to self-insure, that’s fine. But they’ll need to plan it out with you. Ask them to identify exactly what funds they would liquidate first to pay for a long term care event and make sure it’s not already earmarked. We also would shift the conversation to catastrophic coverage.    We have many affluent clients who—after having that conversation—elect to self-insure part of their risk and obtain...
Monday Quick Tip: How to Provide Housing for Aging Parents with a Family Opportunity Mortgage

Monday Quick Tip: How to Provide Housing for Aging Parents with a Family Opportunity Mortgage

Time for another Monday Quick Tip. Did you know you can buy a home for aging parents and avoid having to classify it as an investment property or second home? You can. Sometimes referred to as the Family Opportunity Mortgage, this type of loan allows you to get the lower interest rates associated with an owner occupied home, avoid the distance requirements that lenders require for a second home, and also avoid the high down payment requirements that come along with an investment property. What is more, as a child, you do not have to occupy the home with your parents (you can thank me later!). Parents also do not have to be on the loan, something which can come in handy if one or more of the aging parents do not have good credit. Want to learn more about how this fits into your overall financial plan, reach out to Dunston Financial Group...