Watch Out for These Elder Care Financial Traps

Elder care is a difficult topic and task to take on. Not only are there many unknowns (like the future health of your aging loved one), but numerous family dynamics and emotional roadblocks to overcome as well. Making all of this even more tough to deal with is the fact that there are usually large amounts of money involved.

Currently, a middle-of-the-road nursing home can cost over $8,500 a month, or $100,000 per year. Most of us don’t have that kind of cash lying around. That means there are tough – and sometimes complicated – decisions to be made. Working with professionals is a good way to avoid some of the common and expensive pitfalls, but you’ll also need to keep a close eye on the checkbook.

In particular, here are a few elder care financial traps I want you to look out for…

Paying for Senior Services That Aren’t Special or Specific

It’s unfortunate, but there are a lot of products and services out there being sold with huge markups because they are “especially for seniors.” The only problem is some of them are identical to what you would buy elsewhere at a much lower rate.

For a simple example, I looked into certain types of meal delivery services for my mother at one point. It turned out that getting regular take-out from some of her favorite restaurants was cheaper and more appropriate to her lifestyle. From housing to transportation to home improvements, do research on major costs before signing on the dotted line.

Executing Transactions That Aren’t Official or Documented

It’s nice that your mother told you she wanted you to have her engagement ring, or that your father wrote out his living will on a scrap of paper. When the time comes to follow through on their wishes, however, you’re going to need something more official.

I went through this with my own parents, as many of us do. The biggest mistake you can make is assuming that documents or transactions (particularly the transfer of financial accounts and real estate) will be recognized if they weren’t executed and recorded properly. When in doubt, speak to a lawyer and accountant first.

Failing to Plan Around Tax Codes and Government Programs

Speaking of lawyers and accountants, there is a lot of fine print when it comes to the qualifications for government assistance. Seniors can apply for all types of aid relating to medications, energy bills, and even the monthly rent in a long-term assisted-living facility. However, it can require a bit of planning and paperwork to take advantage of these programs.

As with everything in the elder care process, things get a lot easier if you plan ahead and seek help from professionals before starting. Unless you know exactly how your loved one plans to finance their long-term care, get help before making any decisions.

Smart Elder Care Starts With a Plan

You might notice that each of the items I outlined above tend to occur in situations where things haven’t been planned carefully enough. In other words, you can save time, money, and stress by simply planning ahead. If you want a head start on that process, ORDER my new book today!

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