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Self-Funding Long-Term Care

Posted by Larry Jones on May 19, 2022 9:30:00 AM

An Offensive Proposition!

A number of years ago I was working with a gentleman in setting up a plan for his long-term care. The plan included a comprehensive LTC policy that would cover his expenses no matter where the care was received, either at home or in an institution. One of my suggestions is to always talk this over with your family before making such a purchase, if for no other reason than to let the kids know that you have the coverage.

Well, in this particular case, when the Dad told his son what he was doing, the young man threw a fit. The client contacted me and said that he needed to cancel the coverage. His words to me were, "my son was really upset that I had gotten that policy. He told me to get rid of it.....that HE would take care of me!" In they eyes of this fellow, the purchase of insurance implied that he wasn't willing to take care of his Dad. Of course that's ridiculous. LTC insurance isn't meant to replace the family as caregivers, it's to help them do a better job of caregiving, and for a longer period of time.

Being a full-time caregiver is very demanding, and you may not be healthy enough yourself to do it. When that happens, outside caregivers will have to be acquired, which can be very expensive. As I mentioned in a previous post ( see LTC Funding Options )  when it comes to paying for palliative care there are basically three options:

1. Long-term care insurance

2. Self funding

3. Government assistance (Medicaid)

In this post we'll look at number two: self funding.

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Topics: Long Term Care

Paying the bill for Long-Term Care

Posted by Larry Jones on May 17, 2022 9:30:00 AM

In the blink of an eye

David and his wife Shirley were enjoying their lives together. They'd been married for 53 years, had 3 children and 6 grandchildren, and were active in their church and community. Life was very good, and they had both been blessed beyond measure.

One evening as they were watching TV David noticed that his wife got up to go to the restroom. This wasn't unusual, but something was different this time. She returned, having not found the bathroom, and she seemed quite disoriented. David asked her what was wrong, and what happened next frightened him terribly. When she answered him it came out as gibberish. She couldn't speak! He also noticed that she had wet herself, and the frightened look on her face told him that she too, knew that something was wrong. As quickly as he could he dialed 911.

The prognosis wasn't good. Shirley had had a stroke, which left her unable to walk, there was no mobility of any kind on her left side, there were some cognitive issues, and she couldn't communicate. After several days in the hospital, and two weeks in a rehab unit, he took his beloved wife home.

But his normal life was gone. At first David tried as best he could to take care of her, but his strength and stamina were not up to the task. His children flew in to help, but after a couple of weeks they all had to return home, which wasn't near their parents. He was exhausted, discouraged, and depressed.

What could David do?

He began to bring in home health caregivers. They cost $20 an hour and Shirley needed care around the clock. He was able to keep this up for almost a year, but eventually David knew he'd have to turn Shirley over to someone who could really take care of her. She would have to go to an institution.

In just a few short minutes that night, everything had changed for David and Shirley. Their financial picture had changed too, and not for the better. David was truly worried now about running out of money. * 

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Topics: Long Term Care

Medicaid and Your Long-Term Care

Posted by Larry Jones on May 12, 2022 9:30:00 AM

The Final Option

In previous posts (Funding Long-Term Care ) we have been discussing the ways to pay for extensive palliative care...i.e. that is, when the patient is no longer improving, but is slowly declining, and is losing functionality, such as the ability to feed one's self, to use the toilet, bathing, etc. These things in themselves are not immediately life threatening, as long as assistance is provided by someone else. This level of care is quite expensive, but the bills must be paid in order for the care to continue. There are three ways to pay for this type of care:

1. Long-term care insurance

2. Self funding

3. Government assistance (Medicaid)

In the past two posts we've considered options 1 and 2. Both of these alternatives require some level of available funds, either in the ability to afford LTC insurance premiums, or to shoulder the costs yourself.

The third option is the last-resort scenario; the use of government assistance in the form of Medicaid.

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Topics: Long Term Care

Why Children Need to be Involved in Their Parent's Estate Planning

Posted by Larry Jones on May 10, 2022 9:00:00 AM

The Civil War

The American Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in our history. Over 600,000 young men made the ultimate sacrifice, and thousands more were maimed for the rest of their lives. It was a gruesome, ugly picture of what happens when our American family can no longer get along. I hope we never see such a thing again.

There is another civil war that I have personally observed. It begins at the death of the parents in a family, and many times separates and maims siblings for the rest of their lives. It's an ugly legacy to leave behind, and almost always could have been completely prevented. 

How?

By taking care to adress financial issues beforehand. I know of folks who have spent years in probate, dealing with courts and attorneys, and it could all have been prevented so easily if only a detailed and well-thought out Will had been prepared.

Most families don't want to leave behind a legacy of hatred and strife amongst their children, but it's a rare family that can escape turmoil when the Patriarchs of the family leave this part of their financial plan undone.

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Topics: Estate Planning

A Case Study in Estate Tax Reduction

Posted by Larry Jones on May 5, 2022 9:00:00 AM

The Scenario:

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Topics: Case Studies

Case Study: The Zero Estate Tax Strategy

Posted by Larry Jones on May 3, 2022 9:30:00 AM

Death and Taxes

Everyone knows that death and taxes are unavoidable. For many, the two go together! If you have been able to accumulate considerable assets in the course of your life, you are probably more aware of this than most. Depending on how much your estate is worth, it's possible that your obligation to the government after you are gone could be quite substantial. 

Stories of celebrity estate taxation are legendary. Some of America's most famous have seen their net-worth reduced by 40-70% because of the federal estate tax. Walt Disney died with a $23 million estate, but paid almost $7 million in taxes. John D. Rockefeller was worth $27 million but ended up paying more than $17 million - a 64% reduction! 

Yet, it doesn't have to end up this way.

A well crafted and properly implemented estate plan can enable you to cut the IRS completely out of your estate.

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Topics: Case Studies

Four of the Biggest Financial Planning Mistakes

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 28, 2022 9:30:00 AM

Early to rise...

It's 6 AM and John is unlocking the door at McDonalds. None of the other employees have arrived but he's not surprised. Kids today just don't have the same work ethic that his generation did. John, you see is 73 years old. He sometimes wonders why he still has to do this at his age. There just seems to too much month left at the end of his money. Lately his left knee has been bothering him, and he worries about what he'll do when he can't work anymore.

John's story isn't unusual. We've all seen John, or someone just like him, plugging along when others his age are happily retired. What happened? How did John end up here?

The choices we all make when we're young many times will follow us for as long as we live. I have written a book entitled "The Road to Wealth" that is designed to guide the conscientious person to financial independence. I believe that the principles found in this book are designed to help take you to a successful retirement.

Conversely, there are many things that you can do that will all but guarantee financial hardship down the road. Here's my top 4.

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Some Tips on Inherited Stock

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 26, 2022 9:30:00 AM

Are you feeling confused by a recent inheritance of stock?

If you're like the majority of folks, you have no trouble in deciding how to handle the inheritance of things like cash and physical property. When it comes to inherited stock, however, it may be a different story. There can be questions about taxation, ownership, and brokerage ownership. Quite possibly, the new owner has no experience with these types of financial vehicles. Almost certainly the new owner will have a different tolerance for risk, and perhaps much different expectations for results.

How will you handle all these issues?  

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It's Time to Enjoy Virtual Financial Services

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 21, 2022 9:30:00 AM

The (Rat) Race is On

If you are like most working age Americans, you sometimes seem overwhelmed by the amount of chores and obligations that you attend to on any given day. We are Wonder Woman parents, Ben Franklin on the job, and Jack Nicklaus in our pursuit of enetertainment. Throw in Church, time spent volunteering, and being with friends, and one wonders how we can manage it all. 

The 20th century was a time of great innovation. The invention of the light bulb freed us from lighting candles, gas and electric heat freed us from procuring and working with firewood. The washing machine liberated women from endless laundry, while electric stoves and refrigerators gave us even more free time. In the 21st century technology has brought even more freedom from toil. With all of these things we should be the happiest and most carefree generation that ever lived.

What happened?

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You Can Make College Planning Easy

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 19, 2022 9:30:00 AM

A Brain is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Should your child go to college?

My parents were part of the "greatest generation." Dad was a veteran of WWII (and not happy about it. He was on the verge of being called up from a minor league baseball team to play in the majors when Uncle Sam summoned him instead...) and came home in 1945 to a world finally at peace. In those days, a college education was considered a sure ticket to success. That's not so much the case today. It really depends on your field of study as to what your opportunities will be, and many college graduates come into the workforce only to discover that it's very difficult to find employment using their particular field of study. Many skilled trades pay as much or more as could be earned with a degree. I'm of the opinion that college isn't for everybody, and many are in college who shouldn't be.

Nevertheless, most parents have the hope that their little angel or angel-ette will one day discover the cure for cancer, bring about world peace, or colonize Mars, and to do that, they're going to need to attend college. 

And so the next question is: how are we going to pay for it?

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Topics: Case Studies, College Planning

What you don't know can hurt you!

As a fiduciary I am required to always act in your best interests, and as a professional planner, it's my job to be familiar with all types of possible solutions and financial vehicles. In short, I have no interest in selling any particular product or any affiliation with a particular company. I work for my clients.

Are you:

  • concerned that your tax bill is too high?
  • tired of watching your nest egg decline by significant amounts every 5-7 years?
  • wishing you could find more free time?
  • looking for ways to help protect yourself against litigation that could destroy all you have worked for?
  • worried that Uncle Sam is going to enjoy your retirement more than you are?

If any of the above describes you and you'd like to get a question answered then just click the button below and we'll be in touch.

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