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Protecting Your Assets from the Cost of Long Term Care – Part 1: Issues with Long Term Care

Long Term Care is typically defined as “custodial care” which provides assistance with daily living activities,


  • Activities of Daily Living (dressing, eating, bathing, moving around, personal hygiene)
  • Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (light housework, managing money, preparing meals, shopping, telephone use)
  • Supervision due to Dementia


Over 70% of Americans over age 65 will need long-term care.  Forty percent of this population will receive that care in a nursing home. Let’s put this urgency in perspective. Statistics say that 7.2 % of people on average per year have an auto accident and only 15% of people on average per year file a claim on homeowner’s association.


On average, someone age 65 today will need long-term care for three years. Twenty percent will need care for more than five years. Fifty percent of all couples and 70 percent of single persons are impoverished within one year of entering a nursing home.


A recent study found that 46 percent of long-term care claimants were under the age of 65 at the time of disability.


Options for paying for long term care are:

Personal Resources

·         Income (Social Security, Pension, etc.) and/or

·         Assets (Home, Savings, Investments)


Long Term Care Insurance


Public Benefits

·         Social Security  – created in 1935 to provide retirement and disability income from federal sources


·         Medicare – federal funded health insurance created in 1965 which does NOT pay for long term care


·         Medicaid – long term care insurance of last resort created in 1965 based on both federal and state funding


·         Veteran’s Benefits and Medicaid Benefits can both help the senior pay for long term care expenses.  Veteran’s Benefits are based on the veteran’s dates and types of service.  Medicaid Benefits are based on where you live and how much money you have in the bank.  Both are considered needs-based assistance which means that there are very specific rules about how much you can have – some assets are exempt and others are non-exempt. 


If you plan ahead for the care which many of us will need at some point, 100% impoverishment need not be the only option. We help families everyday get through the maze of long term care planning.

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