As you grow older, one of the most important things to think about is how you're going to handle long term care once you pass retirement age. This is especially important when considering if you're going to attempt to receive Medicaid to pay for these expenses.
Here are 10 questions to ponder when thinking about this:
1. Are you planning ahead? If the answer to this isn't “yes,” it should be. Your future will be far more secure if you plan ahead.
2. Will I ever need Medicaid? It's entirely possible to simply spend your assets paying for care, if you're certain you have enough (or insurance) to cover it.
3. How much time do I have to plan? The earlier the better. Creating a trust will delay your ability to receive Medicaid for up to five years.
4. What are the Medicaid eligibility rules in my state? Every state's rules are different.
5. Do I need a lawyer for my Medicaid planning? Yes. You almost certainly do.
6. What do I want to leave as inheritance? How much you plan to pass on to your family is secondary what you need to spend for yourself during your lifetime.
8. What non-countable assets could I spend my wealth on? Some personal purchases, like a new home or a new car, can be made without increasing your counted assets and restricting your Medicaid eligibility.
9. Should I set up a Trust instead? In many cases, an irrevocable trust can hold your assets beyond Medicare's sight, and provide you with an income from the assets.
10. What about my home? Unless you do something to protect it, such as putting it in trust, upon your death Medicaid will lein your home to pay for your medical expenses.
Planning for your future long term care is time-consuming, but a little work now can save you a lot of hardship years down the line.