For many people thinking about their golden years, avoiding a nursing home entirely is their top priority. They may go to great lengths to remain independent and in their own homes. However, all it takes is a single fall or a diagnosis with a genetic condition to leave someone too vulnerable to continue living on their own.
When adults need to move into nursing homes, they will quickly find that the costs strain their budgets. Even shared rooms in nursing homes will cost thousands of dollars a month, which can burn through someone’s retirement savings much more quickly than living quietly in a home where they have already paid off the mortgage.
Instead of waiting until there is no choice but to move into a nursing home, adults preparing for retirement can protect themselves by planning well ahead of time for the possibility that they may require nursing home care.
Advanced planning can help you qualify for Medicaid
If you weren’t already aware, Medicaid in Washington has very strict rules. There are limits to how much personal property you can have. With the exception of your house, almost all of your possessions can count against you when you apply. You also have to have a very low income, which may not be a challenge for retired adults living on their pension or savings.
However, your current finances aren’t the only consideration. The state will look back at five years of your financial records when you apply. Any major gifts or transfers during those five years will lead to a penalty. You could end up responsible for paying for months of your own care costs before the state will pay for anything.
Even if you are able to qualify quickly when you need benefits, your loved ones could potentially lose the inheritance they expected to receive, as the state will likely initiate Medicaid estate recovery efforts. They will claim the full value of any medical benefits provided to you. Even your home will be vulnerable to such claims.
Advanced planning makes qualifying easier
When you create a plan well ahead of time to qualify for Medicaid, it won’t be so much of a challenge. Your loved ones will also have less to worry about during estate administration, as more of your assets will have protection from claims if you plan well in advance for the possibility of requiring Medicaid.
Addressing common estate planning concerns like Medicaid planning as you prepare for retirement will put you in the best possible situation to safely enjoy your golden years.