This is one journey where the ending is certain you’re going to die. Furthermore, the odds are more than 50% that, if your passing doesn’t come before the age of 65, you’re going to spend a long time in a long-term care facility.
If you’re lucky, your passing will be quick and painless. But if you’re not, it could be slower and tougher, and you’ll need to be in a nursing home, at great cost to your family.
The second-worst thing about a longer death – after the longer death itself – is that our healthcare system wasn’t designed for that eventuality. You’re pretty much on your own. And you’ve got to use up pretty much all your assets before our government will help.
I refer to the aging path as “the Elder Care Journey.” Many of us moved to Florida to start our early retirement years as healthy, vigorous seniors. Once we start having mobility or memory issues, we become (in my parlance) “declining seniors.” And it’s worth noting that 90% of declining seniors will need substantial in-home or nursing-home care.
In my opinion, we don’t spend enough time thinking about – or providing for – the surviving spouse. This spouse will lose one of the two Social Security checks, of course. She may also lose some – or all – of the deceased spouse’s pension.
I see it all the time. While focusing on the needy senior, families sometimes lose sight of the fact that the surviving spouse might live many more years…but with financial resources that have been drained by the ill one’s needs.
There are options, though…if you have an attorney who knows where to look. If you’ve put together a thorough estate plan – not only a will, but also power of attorney, a trust if necessary, long-term care planning, asset protection – there are ways to protect yourself, and your loved ones.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we know where to look. We’re Elder Law attorneys…and only Elder Law attorneys. We’ve been doing this for 33 years. And, during that time, we’ve helped thousands of South Florida families provide for their loved ones who are surviving spouses.
All you have to do is pick up the phone. We’ll do the rest.
Where Are You On The Elder Care Journey?