Many Ohio residents contemplating retirement talk to their financial planners about their investments, Social Security benefits and taxes but neglect to discuss health care. Planning for health care costs is just as important as creating a financial plan because a sudden health crisis could drastically impact a retiree’s finances.
According to statistics obtained from Fidelity Investments, the average couple will spend about $260,000 for out-of-pocket medical expenses during retirement. This does not include costs for long-term care. Prospective retirees should look at their monthly prescription costs and insurance plans when making decisions about retirement planning.
Planning for long-term care is another important consideration. As many as one in three adults will need long-term care at some point in their lives, such as a nursing home, assisted living, home health care or adult day care. Purchasing long-term care insurance is one way that could help make these costs more affordable. Medicaid may also be able to help with some of the costs, but this requires that applicants spend down most of their assets to qualify.
An attorney experienced in elder law may be able to help retirees protect their savings. For example, married couples may face a situation where one spouse needs to enter long-term residential care. An attorney may be able to help the spouse needing care qualify for Medicaid while protecting the retired couple’s assets. Certain items such as home improvements for the benefit of the Medicaid applicant are exempt from assets that must be paid from to the residential care facility while a Medicaid application is pending. An attorney may also be able to assist with other aspects of long-term care planning that are not covered by financial planners, such as drafting will or trust documents, discussing the benefits of different types of trusts and drafting documents that will allow others to make decisions for a person who becomes incapacitated such as a power of attorney or a petition for guardianship.