A detailed estate plan doesn’t just protect the people you love by ensuring they inherit your assets. It also helps protect you from poverty in your final years of life.
Although you may not have worried much about your retirement when you first drafted a last will, you may worry a lot more about your long-term care needed now that you are approaching retirement age.
What if your children aren’t in a position to support you as you age? Do you have enough set aside to cover your own living expenses, or will you be dependent on state aid to meet your basic needs as you age?
Even a well-funded retirement plan may not cover nursing home care
If you have set aside hundreds of thousands of dollars on which to retire, you might expect that those costs will cover whatever you need, including time in a nursing home. Unfortunately, nursing home expenses are higher than most people realize.
Washington has higher-than-average costs for nursing home rooms, and the price per room has gone up more than 10% in the last decade. Someone who wants a private room will have to pay $10,950, while a semi-private room will cost $9,581. Even in a semi-private room, you may need more than $100,000 of savings per year just to cover the basic nursing home costs, not any of your other expenses.
If you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you may have to spend every cent you’ve ever earned for nursing home costs. Any debts left when you die will also diminish your legacy. Cautious estate planning with an eye toward long-term care needs and asset protection will protect your safety and comfort as you age.