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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    My parents are paying $7000 a month for my grandmother in an Alzheimer's unit at a very nice facility. My grandmother had quite significant savings, but I don't think they are going to outlive her.

    Some relatives are grumbling, but my mom took care of her as long as she could.
    Why is it always those who weren't the caregivers who complain about expenses like these? I'm sure your mom gave your grandmother great care as long as she could -- but there comes a time when it may just not work to keep someone at home.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by BaileyCatts View Post
    And I never knew about the Long Term Care insurance, so that is something I would have never known to do. So that is something you should buy once you turn 60, not something you should be paying for yet if you are in your 40's?
    I actually bought LTC insurance in my 40's. It was offered at work for a 5% discount, no health assessment and the insurance company was A+ rated. I felt that LTC insurance will become like disability in that they'll deny you even if you have a hang nail and I've already been denied on disability insurance. So, I locked in early at a relatively low cost.
    But now, I'm hearing a lot of insurance companies are getting out of the LTC insurance business, (mine included, though they still have to honor my policy) b/c it's more expensive for them then they expected. So I don't know if this type of policy will be around for long.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by skipaway View Post
    I actually bought LTC insurance in my 40's. It was offered at work for a 5% discount, no health assessment and the insurance company was A+ rated. I felt that LTC insurance will become like disability in that they'll deny you even if you have a hang nail ...
    Smart, given your insurance status.

    The biggest 3 reasons folks need LTC are stroke, hip fracture, and dementia. If high blood pressure, osteoporosis or dementia are common in a family, locking in LTC insurance might be a good idea.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatemommy View Post
    Baileycatts - no need to buy LTC in your 40's. You will be throwing $ away for 20 years. Better to invest in an IRA and have a cheap level term life insurance policy.
    I disagree. I'm 46 and just got a LTC policy. I ran the numbers, using conservative assumptions about how much investments would earn, what age I'm likely to start using the benefits, etc. It is MUCH cheaper for me to get a policy with low premiums in my 40s and pay on it for a long time than to get a policy with HIGH premiums at age 60 and pay on it for a shorter time. The rates go up astronomically the older you are at the time the policy is initiated.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodstock View Post
    Get a lawyer that specializes in elder law. They know a lot of legal ways to move the money from an elderly relatives "back pocket" (and therefore easily pick-able by nursing home charges) to their "front pocket" (such as putting the money in a trust in an inheritors name, makes it harder for nursing homes to go after it).
    ITA. Try to find a lawyer who is also tax-law knowledgeable. A friend has a lawyer who's also a CPA and he did wonders with moving the money around from the parents' names to her name, allowing the parents to shelter a good deal of their hard-earned money for retirement and estate planning. While they had health coverage and didn't need a nursing home, the complicated process of moving themselves and their assets (in various names) from one state to another was made much easier with his guidance. In truth, neither of the parents would ever allow themselves to be "put into a Home." They would hire a live-in caregiver before that would happen. They had the assets, so use them wisely.

    Quote Originally Posted by my little pony View Post
    a lot of the people who collect LTC are not elderly, I can get the exact # tomorrow at work

    i'm not advocating for or against it, but many people who use it are not old and need it due to car accidents and other unexpected things. for a younger person to buy LTC now, it really isnt for when they are old because the entire health care, eldercare and insurance system will be very different by then. but we all can get hit by a bus tomorrow.
    A couple from church were driving on a street when a tractor-trailer wiped out and sent their car flying two lanes into a brick building. She was badly injured and took months to recover; he was in ICU for weeks and spent almost a year in a nursing home/rehab facility. They were in their late 50's when this happened and the LTC insurance from their jobs was a godsend because they would have lost all of their retirement savings otherwise.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 01-28-2011 at 02:25 PM.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by skipaway View Post
    . . . But now, I'm hearing a lot of insurance companies are getting out of the LTC insurance business, (mine included, though they still have to honor my policy) b/c it's more expensive for them then they expected. So I don't know if this type of policy will be around for long.
    There was actually a news article recently talking about this. A lot of companies were no longer offering LTC policies because of aging boomers cashing in, cutting into their profits obviously.

    Also, they interviewed people who HAD policies but had to forfeit them because premiums rose so much they could no longer afford the insurance. So there's money out the window.

    I don't know who can afford 7k a month for nursing home care or even a fraction of that! I would think even if you scrimped all your life, your savings would be wiped out in a heartbeat if you needed long-term care.

    Makes you think the lucky ones are the ones who are able to retire comfortably in their 60's and then just die peacefully in their sleep in their 70's before maladies and illness set in.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins View Post
    ITA. Try to find a lawyer who is also tax-law knowledgeable. A friend has a lawyer who's also a CPA and he did wonders with moving the money around from the parents' names to her name, allowing the parents to shelter a good deal of their hard-earned money for retirement and estate planning. While they had health coverage and didn't need a nursing home, the complicated process of moving themselves and their assets (in various names) from one state to another was made much easier with his guidance. In truth, neither of the parents would ever allow themselves to be "put into a Home." They would hire a live-in caregiver before that would happen. They had the assets, so use them wisely.
    .
    Lovely -- so these wonderful people "shelter" their "hard-earned" money so that the rest of us poor fools get the opportunity to pay the welfare costs necessary to support them in a nursing home? And my hugely pressured state uses even a higher percentage of tax revenues to pay for Medicaid nursing home costs?

    Because, of course, it is far more important for these gracious folks to leave an estate than to prepare to pay for the expenses they incur?

    And I would say that the vast, vast majority of people in nursing homes never thought that they'd end up there. Not too many of us sit here thinking, "oh well, when the time comes I'll just go into that nursing home."

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by BaileyCatts View Post
    I overheard a conversation today that I hope I heard wrong. Hey, I was eating by myself, the two ladies next to me were talking very lloouuddllyy, I could not help but overhear what they said.

    The gist is this .... woman's mother has lived with her for several years, but mother's health has badly declined, she can no longer get up stairs at house, and needs far more care than woman can provide. So they looked at nursing home, but were told they must turn over ALL of mother's financial assets to nursing home immediately upon moving in, but then Medicare pays for rest of fees (or something like that). Mother has quite a nest egg from husbands investments (about $200K if I heard right). Mother is distraught at having to turn over her entire life's savings money to nursing home because she wanted to leave to her grandkids to pay for college educations.

    So long story short, when you have to go to a nursing home to live, do you really have to turn over ALL your financial assets, meaning you save your whole life but cannot leave anything to your children? Maybe I misunderstood.
    Unfortunately, if your grandmother wanted to set aside that $ for her grandkids' college educations, she should have used a 529 or Education IRA. Then the assets could not be used for her care.

    Long-term health care in the US is a disaster. Costs a ton and no one has the $$ for it. And other posters were right--this is an area in which it really makes a difference if you plan ahead. I keep trying to get my MIL to do this but she hasn't "gotten around to it" and probably never will. *She* also wants to give us $$ for granddaughter's education, but unless she puts it into a protected "for education only" account (eg, a 529) there's no guarantee it won't be taken to pay for her own medical care.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    Moreover, there is a time limit on gifting assets if you have to enter a nursing home on the government's dime. I think it's 5 years now. They will look back and if money or property is given to a relative within that period, it will have to be paid back first.

    If the woman had 200K in assets, it should go for her care not her grandchildren's education.
    Yes, it is 5 years. And, yes, her money should go toward her care. Just not up front. I would imagine that if all money were given up front and the person passed away before the money was used up, it would be very hard to get back. I would never consider that.

    Quote Originally Posted by BaileyCatts View Post
    And I never knew about the Long Term Care insurance, so that is something I would have never known to do. So that is something you should buy once you turn 60, not something you should be paying for yet if you are in your 40's?

    So you always learn something at FSU.
    My husband and I have LTC insurance. His firm offered it several years ago. He was early 60's, I was still early 50's. The younger you get it the less it costs and the more you stand to accrue. Also, the chance of being denied for existing health issues is lower.

    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Why is it always those who weren't the caregivers who complain about expenses like these? I'm sure your mom gave your grandmother great care as long as she could -- but there comes a time when it may just not work to keep someone at home.
    How true.

    My father needed care. He was a brittle diabetic and no one could manage his meds. He liked to eat whatever he wanted, then give himself extra insulin to compensate. He needed to be in a place where food was not readily accessible and his insulin was controlled. We chose assisted living, there was a little more freedom and the cost was a bit less. But he was ambulatory and did not need nursing home level care. He lived there for 3 years, until he passed away.

    As to finances, we paid for it. There was no medicaid payment. We paid monthly, just like rent. Then we paid for optional services used, such as laundry, medication dispensing, etc. 3 meals a day and cleaning were included. There were also many "community" activities: bus trips to malls & grocery stores, holiday parties, weekly sing-a-longs, daily tees and book clubs. They provided bus service to doctors offices and there were doctors that came to the facility. There was a nutritionist and each resident was provided with a diet that fit with their health needs. It was actually very pleasant. My father initially resisted, but I think he lived an extra 2 years because of it.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    I keep trying to get my MIL to do this but she hasn't "gotten around to it" and probably never will. *She* also wants to give us $$ for granddaughter's education, but unless she puts it into a protected "for education only" account (eg, a 529) there's no guarantee it won't be taken to pay for her own medical care.
    My father wanted to contribute to his grandkid's education. But, he didn't will it to them. He started accounts, earmarked for their education, the day each of them were born (literally!). Over the years, he added to it. My kids were fortunate that most of the investments he made were long term and locked in, during the 80's, with high interest rates. He was in his 50's when he set the accounts up - he was all about education !

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by my little pony View Post
    a lot of the people who collect LTC are not elderly, I can get the exact # tomorrow at work

    i'm not advocating for or against it, but many people who use it are not old and need it due to car accidents and other unexpected things. for a younger person to buy LTC now, it really isnt for when they are old because the entire health care, eldercare and insurance system will be very different by then. but we all can get hit by a bus tomorrow.
    ^This.

    I'm in my 30's and have a LTC policy. It is true that most people collecting on them are young people that have been in accidents. I'm more worried getting in an accident driving to and from work. I didn't buy a LTC policy at my last job because the drive in to work was at lower speeds and back roads. I guess I could still have been injured but I felt safer. Now I'm on a major interstate with lots of semis. There are always 3-4 accidents on rainy days and it's not unusual for one of them to be an overturned semi. I don't want to be under or near one of those.

    I would say that 60 is the latest you should wait to get a LTC policy but you could be playing with fire if you can afford it and don't have it. It's worth considering given any personal health risks and other outside factors that may result in long rehabilitations.
    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." – T.S. Eliot

  12. #32
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    LTC insurance is considerably lower in cost if you buy it when you're in your 40's, etc. than it is later on.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    Lovely -- so these wonderful people "shelter" their "hard-earned" money so that the rest of us poor fools get the opportunity to pay the welfare costs necessary to support them in a nursing home? And my hugely pressured state uses even a higher percentage of tax revenues to pay for Medicaid nursing home costs?

    Because, of course, it is far more important for these gracious folks to leave an estate than to prepare to pay for the expenses they incur?

    And I would say that the vast, vast majority of people in nursing homes never thought that they'd end up there. Not too many of us sit here thinking, "oh well, when the time comes I'll just go into that nursing home."
    Sorry that I wasn't clear - this is common in estate planning, whether you agree with it or not. I'm not joking -- there was no way they'd go to a home, trust me.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 01-28-2011 at 10:30 PM.

  14. #34
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    ^^ I believe I understand you. My father was in a private assisted living residence. We paid every penny of it. However, he did have some money that needed to be transferred into other's names. The money would have been exhausted, if needed, for his care. Because we understood that while the money was in our names, it still belonged to him. However there was some left when he passed. By transferring it 5 years + before he passed, it eliminated many fees that would have been incurred to probate his will. There were still fees, but they were cut substantially. Also, it made it much easier on the family, it was not a long drawn out and painful process.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    ^^ I believe I understand you. My father was in a private assisted living residence. We paid every penny of it. However, he did have some money that needed to be transferred into other's names. The money would have been exhausted, if needed, for his care. Because we understood that while the money was in our names, it still belonged to him. However there was some left when he passed. By transferring it 5 years + before he passed, it eliminated many fees that would have been incurred to probate his will. There were still fees, but they were cut substantially. Also, it made it much easier on the family, it was not a long drawn out and painful process.
    ITA, organizing the estate early saves on taxes and gives the most flexibility. My mother transferred a few assets each year once she turned 75. When she passed, it was much easier for my brother and me as we only had to deal with a few bank accounts and the house, everything else was already done.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

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    Exactly, thanks. Sadly, both my parents and inlaws passed away without any planning, so while we didn't have to worry about nursing homes, the probate and attorney fees were an expensive nightmare!

    My mother's was the most complicated because of the state of her will, which was over 25 years old. (Plus the state of her paperwork. Disorganized, illegible, out of date and random.)
    The lawyer had died, the witnesses had died, and the executor was elderly and not up to all the running around/getting certified copies of documents/statements needed for probate court.

    It was good that my brother was listed on the bank account since there were many expenses to take care of unexpectedly. That little bit of planning made the effort less stressful.
    Last edited by FigureSpins; 01-28-2011 at 10:29 PM.

  17. #37

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    Where I live, I can put a beneficiary on my investments, which means if something happens to me, those investments go straight to the beneficiary, and not through the estate. I also have joint accounts, with right of succession, which means the other person can still use the accounts and they won't be closed after my death. Again, easier on your executor.

    My mum was in a chronic care facility. The payments were made monthly from a combination of her pension and savings. When she died, the savings were just and only used up. Had she lived longer, my Dad would have had to make up the difference, but they would have taken his finances into consideration.

    I've had a will since I was 13 years old. I heard a story at the time about a relative who got cheated in a major way over the lack of a will.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by skipaway View Post
    I actually bought LTC insurance in my 40's. It was offered at work for a 5% discount, no health assessment and the insurance company was A+ rated. I felt that LTC insurance will become like disability in that they'll deny you even if you have a hang nail and I've already been denied on disability insurance. So, I locked in early at a relatively low cost.
    But now, I'm hearing a lot of insurance companies are getting out of the LTC insurance business, (mine included, though they still have to honor my policy) b/c it's more expensive for them then they expected. So I don't know if this type of policy will be around for long.
    I'm in the same situation. I bought through work in my 40's, it was inexpensive and didn't require a health check. I just got a letter that they are discontinuing it for new applicants, but they still will honor my policy. I live alone and figured I should get it just in case, and because it covers in-home care too. Of course, when I broke my ankle it didn't help because I wasn't disabled long enough. Sigh. I've still kept it though.

    BTW, regarding nursing home care and medicare. My father had a stroke and was in a nursing home for about 7 months before he died. Medicare paid for every day of his care, amazingly enough. They were about to cut off his medicare because he wasn't "making progress," and my mother pointed out some of the health problems he had as a result of being bedridden, and asked how he could make progress with these problems. And they said, "Oh, you're right." It was quite a relief because if they'd had to pay all of his care it would have been very tough on my mother. They'd been frugal and tried to plan, but they were not wealthy people. She was very upset about all that, in addition to the whole situation with my dad. This was more than 20 years ago, but it is just a reminder that it pays to keep asking questions.

  19. #39
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    The problem with LTC policies is that you can pay into them for many years and never use the policy.

    Another option is that there are Universal Life policies that have a LTC rider on them. They let you take between 2-4% of the value of the policy to use on LTC care for up to 5 years. Of course, if you just pass away, it has a life benefit, unlike LTC plans.

    It's just another option for people to look at.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8pics View Post
    BTW, regarding nursing home care and medicare. My father had a stroke and was in a nursing home for about 7 months before he died. Medicare paid for every day of his care, amazingly enough. They were about to cut off his medicare because he wasn't "making progress," and my mother pointed out some of the health problems he had as a result of being bedridden, and asked how he could make progress with these problems.
    My guess is that he was in rehab and not a nursing home. Frequently nursing homes and rehab facilities are co-located on the same grounds because people often move from one to the other. Medicare does not pay for nursing homes - they will pay for a time in rehab as long as the patient was hospitalized just prior to admission and (as you said) continues to make progress.
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