Ask Terry Questions long term care & medicaid

long term care & medicaid

By Terry Savage on March 09, 2015 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Hello Terry,
I am over 80+ years old, widowed for many years.
I have 2 adult children , both disabled on Soc. Sec. disability & Medicare.
I do not have long term insurance as I could not afford it.
I keep reading about Special needs trust fund but find they are very expensive & believe that they are for people that have assets , own homes, etc.
I live in a rental apartment & my total monthly income is approx. $ 2,000. counting my Soc.Sec.,work pension & a traditional IRA , amount of $ 130, 000.
I’m also reading that should I ever need nursing home care , Medicare will look back 5 yrs. of my spending.
I really cannot afford to help my children much but occasionally I try to give them a few dollars for special needs.
My rent alone is $1200./mo. plus utilities, food, etc.
I still drive & this is a great expense.
Do I need to keep track of all of this ?
I haven’t been & if I have to would sure be an added responsibility for me to have to do this & I would be terribly upset should I not be able to offer them anything that would be necessary for them that they could not afford.
would appreciate any input regarding this .
Terry, I’ve been a faithful reader of your articles for a very long time & they have been a tremendous guide & help to me as well as, I’m sure many others !
Many thanks.

Terry Says:  Well, thank you for writing, and for your nice compliment. Let me set part of your mind at peace:  you do NOT have to worry about keeping records of all your spending.  If you need custodial care, then with a pension and Social Security and IRA you will be able to find a good nursing home — And they can’t kick you out when your assets run out.  They will use your pension and Social Security to cover costs — and then turn to Medicaid to pay for any additional amount.

But there are a few things you should be thinking about.  The BIG question is:  Who will take care of YOU and your finances if you become incapacitated?  Who will have power of attorney over your assets, your IRA and SS?  Who will make arrangements for you if you cannot?

These are HUGE questions — especially for a growing number of older women who are alone either by choice or by chance.  You need to make a revocable living trust, naming someone to these powers — and also to be your healthcare power of attorney and have the power of your living will.  Have you given that some thought?   Please write back (I don’t need to post your response) and let me know if you have that taken care of — and I will recommend an attorney if, as I gather from your note, you are in the Chicago area.

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