Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What to do before helping an elderly loved one

Do you have a parent or in-law whose health has changed and now needs someone to watch over them everyday? A generation ago relying on family and friends for was the norm for people needing long-term care. Perhaps your parents lived close to your grandparents when you were a kid. When one grandparent died, the survivor might have moved in with you and your folks. And continuing to live at home could cost less than paying for care in a nursing home or an assisted living facility. But the out-of-pocket cost to the caregiver can be high … $5,500 according to the MetLife Mature Market Institute, and more than $8,700 if they live a long-distance away. As you can imagine then, care giving can have a big impact on your savings. So before you take the big leap and offer to help an elderly loved one, get a grip on your own finances. For example: Do you still work? When do you hope to retire? Are you helping adult children get on their feet? Also learn about any government programs that are available. Be sure to check out Medicare and Medicaid. Both provide limited long-term care benefits. Your state or county might have programs for the elderly who are getting care at home. So it’s important to understand your loved one’s finances to determine if he or she qualifies. Taking care of an elderly loved one is a noble deed. However, get all your ducks lined up before you commit. That way you’re not sacrificing your family’s financial future and your own plans for retirement. Best wishes, George I just finished updating and expanding A Boomer’s Guide to Long-term Care. Inside, I give you the bottom line on what Medicare and Medicaid will pay and what your loved ones have to do qualify. Plus I show you other available options when planning for your own care. Order your copy direct from my publisher, TODAY.

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