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Start planning now to care for elderly parents

Start planning now to care for elderly parents
From Reuters - October 10, 2017

NEW YORK (Reuters) - If you have an aging parent and want a glimpse of what the future holds, look no further than Leslie Glutzer.

The 66-year-old from Chicago has a mom who is 92, dealing with dementia, now living in a local nursing home. Those costs are not covered by Medicaid, so Glutzer and her husband are spending more than $5,000 a month from their savings.

It really starts to add up, Glutzer says.

This financial struggle is one that is shared by many.

For nursing homes, in particular, the costs can be astronomical. A new study from insurance giant Genworth Financial found that a private room in a nursing home averages out to $267 per day or $8,121 a month, up 5.5 percent from the year before. Semi-private rooms are not far behind, at $7,148 a month on average.

Overall, long-term care costs rose by 4.5 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to Genworths Cost of Care survey. That is the second-highest annual increase since the yearly survey began back in 2004.

Experts agree that it is important to start thinking about caregiving costs now. Waiting too long means you cannot stockpile resources, take out affordable insurance policies or plan ahead for a thoughtful drawdown of assets.

At that point, your choices become very limited, says David OLeary, president and CEO of Genworths U.S. Life Insurance division.

So exactly how can you provide compassionate care for your parents without bankrupting yourself and sabotaging your own retirement? The following are five tips:

TAKE FINANCIAL INVENTORY

Have a family meeting and take stock of the financial resources available. Folks in their 70s or 80s may have a pension, as well as Social Security and personal investments, which could help soften the financial blow for adult children.

Figure out if all siblings are going to share eldercare costs equally, or if some who may not have the means can contribute in other ways, like arranging hospital appointments.

Be sure to find out what your parents envision for their future.

HOME EQUITY

MEDICAID QUALIFICATION

GET COVERED

CONSIDER LESS EXPENSIVE OPTIONS

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