After a lifetime of working, earning, saving and investing, you’ve decided to retire. At first, you spend your time catching up on those activities that you had deferred earlier in life. You travel, you read, you spend more time in the garden or with other hobbies.
As time passes, though, the mileage on your body has started to exceed its warranty. Health care issues may become more paramount. Your ability to exercise independent living diminishes, and assisted living or nursing home care may become an option. While federal benefits may assist with these expenses, there are limits to the amount of assets you can have to qualify for assistance. These assets include income from pensions, retirement savings and Social Security. If your assets exceed the limits, you either have to pay for expensive nursing care out-of-pocket or spend down your assets until you qualify for the federal benefits.
Unfortunately, much, if not all, of your estate can be devoured by these expenses before you qualify for assistance. If you want to have something left over for your loved ones, then you will need to plan for this transition long before your actual need for nursing home care arises.