The story below illustrates the importance of including long-term care considerations as part of your retirement and estate planning. What happened to this unfortunate couple has sadly happened to many others and could happen to you and your loved ones also absent proper planning.

Clarence and Elsie were the envy of all who knew them.  Friendly, kind, and content, this happily married couple were sometimes asked to reveal the secret to their long and happy life together.  “We never argued about money”, replied Clarence. “We worked hard, spent prudently, saved, and invested wisely with professional help”.  Observed Elsie, “we put our kids through school, paid for their weddings, and managed to set aside a nice little nest egg.  Now, in retirement, we live comfortably without struggling to pay our bills.  We travel and we spend quality time with our grandchildren. What’s to argue about”?

Suddenly one day Clarence suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed all along his left side.  After a short hospitalization he transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation.  A month later, with Clarence still not back on his feet, the therapy ended.  But Clarence remained in the facility, a virtual prisoner, unable to meet the physical demands necessary to return home.  To make matters worse, his Medicare benefits would not pay for the cost of his continued care once therapy was cut off.  Three years later, their nest egg exhausted, Clarence qualified for Medicaid.  Now, with Clarence’s income payable every month to the nursing facility, Elsie could no longer make ends meet and was forced to sell their home. “I guess we didn’t do everything right after all”, mused Elsie.

Fortunately, today’s seniors are living longer than ever before.  But for many, such as Clarence and Elsie, failing health makes the final years for them and their families less than pleasant.  Clarence and Elsie failed to realize that prudent retirement and estate planning takes into account the possibility of long-term incapacity.

Medicare and health insurance don’t pay for services and supports for persons who can no longer live independently.  One year of nursing home care can cost as high as $180,000.  Care at home can also consume thousands of dollars a month.  Fortunately, Medicaid does pay for long-term care.  But impoverishment is the price for admission to the Medicaid program.

“The good news”, observes George Vasiliadis, an attorney with the law firm of Vasiliadis Pappas Associates, “is that with proper legal measures, you or a loved one can qualify for Medicaid to pay for needed care without losing everything acquired over a lifetime of hard work.”

The lawyers at Vasiliadis Pappas Associates have helped thousands of families over the years to acquire needed care for their loved ones without becoming impoverished. Contact us, we can help!