Aging is one of the few constants in this world. Each and every one of us ages, no matter how hard we might try to deny it or fight against its effects. For many of us, getting older means learning to rely on others for support again. We may require assistance in performing tasks we previously handled with ease, and the daily tasks of living can even become more than we can handle on our own.

Thankfully, there are many people out there that have made a career out of assisting and looking after our elderly citizens. Options are available, from in-home care to nursing home care. Some individuals may require the continued assistance they receive from a nursing home, while others may only need occasional assistance with matters such as grocery shopping or cleaning.

But while nursing homes can provide much-needed care for our elderly citizens, they are also quite expensive. Looking at the yearly cost of a nursing home, it may seem like an impossible option. Yet this shouldn’t be the case. There are actually quite a few tools that can be used to help you afford nursing home care. As nursing home planning attorneys ourselves, we decided to introduce you to some options that can help you to afford nursing home care. In addition, we’ll discuss why it is never too soon to start planning and why working with an attorney is considered so valuable.

Why Is it Never Too Soon to Start Planning for Nursing Home Care?

Nursing home care can be prohibitively expensive. A recent study found that annual costs in 2016 were roughly $90,000 a year. If that sounds bad, just wait. The same study calculated, based on its findings, that the annual cost by 2030 could be upwards of $140,000. Now, these numbers are based on private rooms in a nursing home, but they certainly give you an idea of how expensive nursing home care can be. Of course, we should note that these numbers are projections; something may be done to reduce this increase, but it could also prove to be even worse in reality.

If you never thought about going to a nursing home, then you probably haven’t considered planning for one. This means that should you find yourself in need of one, you will be mostly relying on your own finances to do so. These may be in good condition, but you could still easily chew through them if you weren’t being careful. Most people are unlikely to be able to afford care on their own.

Options exist, as we shall see, that can help you to afford nursing home care. Some of these you can only make use of once you are a certain age or have suffered from certain conditions. However, many could be implemented years prior to needing them. For example, one option is long-term care insurance. This can be incredibly expensive, but if you purchase it while you are still young and healthy, then it will be far easier to afford than purchasing it when you are older and suffering from various medical conditions.

If a Nursing Home Costs So Much, How Could I Afford Nursing Home Care?

The first way to afford nursing home care is to pay for it yourself. If you have the funds, this could be an option. But that is highly unlikely, and chances are good that those with that sort of money lying around would consider in-home care instead.

A more common way of affording nursing home care is Medicaid. It is an insurance program but a government one. It can greatly help to cover the costs of nursing home care. However, you must be eligible for Medicaid, which can be more difficult than you might expect. A Medicaid planning attorney can certainly help you with it, though.

We already mentioned long-term care insurance in the previous section, but it bears repeating. This approach is best used early, well before you would be considering going to a nursing home. Long-term care insurance is best when purchased as a long-term investment.

Certain life insurance policies may be used to cover nursing home care, though this negatively impacts the benefit that would be paid out to heirs when you pass.

If you happen to be a veteran that suffered a service-related injury, then you may qualify for full coverage at a nursing home. Note, however, that this approach only applies to specific locations and providers that the Department of Veteran Affairs has approved.

Can a Lawyer Help Me to Afford Nursing Home Care?

Working with an estate planning attorney is one of the more intelligent steps to take when trying to figure out the best way to afford nursing home care. While people think of attorneys as primarily battling in the courtroom, many work hard to ensure that people like you are able to maximize their ability to afford nursing home care.

In addition, any attorney that can help you with this should also be well-versed in the various risks of nursing home care. The most considerable risk is that you could end up owing everything you own to a nursing home. This can happen when people aren’t careful about managing their finances or managing them carefully but without considering the impact that a nursing home will have on them.

A nursing home planning attorney will know what tools can be used to help you afford nursing home care and how to reduce any harm that nursing home care could cause.

When Should I Speak to a Nursing Home Planning Attorney?

It is never too soon to reach out to a nursing home planning attorney to seek their advice. If you are years away from ever needing a home, they can help you to prepare and plan for the event. If you begin nursing home planning within 5 years of actually entering a nursing home, you should expect to lose a portion of your savings and investments while still protecting the majority of your assets.

If you have entered a nursing home without prior planning, you should seek a nursing home planning attorney immediately. In most cases, a nursing home planning attorney can help you protect at least 50% of your remaining assets from nursing home expenses. For those planning more than 5 years before entering a nursing home, you should expect to protect virtually all of your assets. The general rule is, the sooner you plan, the more assets you can protect.