When it comes to financing the cost of Long Term Chronic Care, most Seniors will
instinctively rely on their personal savings, liquid investments and retirement accounts to fill in the
shortfall between their retirement income (Pension, Social Security, Interest Income, etc) and the cost of
care. All too often, the much needed care is postponed due to a perceived lack of affordability.
Yet, often this is simply not the case. Seniors may simply not be aware of all the ‘Resources’
that potentially could assist them in affording the quality care that they deserve.
Finding the “Resources” to assist the Payment of Long Term Chronic Care
Resource #1: Your House:
If you or your spouse plan to remain in your home, then you may wish to consider using your home to help finance your healthcare costs: You can consider:
Each of these products can provide tax advantaged cash to the homeowner, however each requires that at least one spouse remain in the home during the length of the contract. To learn more about Reverse Mortgages see: www.HUD.gov. To learn more about Shared Appreciation Contracts see: www.equitykey.com
Resource #2: A Short Term Bridge Loan:
Elderlife Financial (www.elderlifefinancial.com) offers an unsecured short-term Bridge Loan designed to fill in the 'gap' until a long term financial solution is found (such as the sale of a home or the approval of government assistance such as VA Benefits).
Resource #3: Your Existing Life Insurance:
Many Seniors that own Life insurance are unaware that their policies can provide monthly income to pay healthcare expenses. The program is known a ‘Life Settlement’ and it allows the Senior, who qualifies, to receive a percentage of the
death benefit, today, while he is alive, as a tax-free Monthly Long Term Care Benefit . This is known as: "Life Care Funding".
An Example: Male age 84—$100,000 policy Policy Conversion; $45,000 Monthly benefit: $2,000 Benefit duration: 20 months Funeral Benefit: $5,000 To learn more about Life Care Funding go to: www.lifecarefunding.com
Resource #4: Your Annuities:
Tax Law changes enacted in 2010 now allows for certain ‘qualified annuities’ (IRC 101(g)) to have income tax free distributions for payment of qualified long term care related expenses. If you own a tax deferred annuity that is not ‘qualified’ it may be possible to complete a ‘1035 exchange’ to a new ‘qualified contract’. Careful replacement analysis of the existing contract prior to making any changes is always recommended.
Resource #5: New Life Insurance:
Tax Law changes in 2010 now allow for Life Insurance policies that qualify under code section IRC 101(g) to have a 'Chronic Illness Rider' that allows for the TAX -FREE acceleration of the death benefit for payment of long term chronic health care.
An Example: a 83 year old widow owns a $250,000 life insurance policy. If she needed assistance with 2 out of 6 'Activities of Daily Living' she could collect up to 2% per month or $5,000 of the death benefit! Because it is an 'indemnity benefit', the monies can be spent anyway the widow chooses.
Resource #6: Government Benefits:
If you are a 'Qualifying Veteran' or a Widow of a Veteran, you may be eligible for receive an 'Improved Pension' to assist in the payment of your healthcare costs. Please see the page on Veteran's benefits above.
If you are a low income senior, you may be eligible for Medicaid benefits. Please see the page on Medicaid above.
Disclaimer: This is an introductory piece designed to provide a general overview of various financial products and programs that are available to assist Seniors in affording quality healthcare. It is recommended that you thoroughly research each option before taking action and only work with a licensed, trained and experienced professional.
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