ElderLaw News — The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. — MD, VA, DC
ElderLaw News

ElderLaw News is a weekly e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to seniors and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., William S. Fralin, Esq., President.

Efficient Funding of Long-term Care Insurance

Over the next 20 years, the number of Americans age 65 years and older will more than double to 71 million, comprising roughly 20% of the U.S. population.

Greater longevity among the Baby Boom generation will also contribute to increased demand for long-term care services; those surviving to age 65 years can expect to live an average of 20 more years. As Baby Boomers live longer, their chance of needing some form of long-term care services will rise as well. Roughly 70% of people over the age of 65 years require some form of long-term care, and more than 30% will receive some nursing home care in their lifetime.

Long-term care is expensive, and the cost is rising every year. Currently, the average annual cost of a one-year stay in a private room at a nursing home in a Virginia metropolitan area is $77,380. Future long-term care will be even more expensive. If costs rise at just 3% annually (a conservative estimate), then 20 years from now a one-year stay in a nursing home will cost approximately $139,757. It's easy to see how long-term care expenses can threaten or even wipe out your retirement savings and jeopardize any assets you had planned to leave your loved ones.

With the Standard & Poor's (S&P 500) index returning an average of only 2.72%2 a year for the last ten years and a one-year certificate of deposit returning an average of under 1.0%, it may seem like an insurmountable task to save enough money to fund a retirement and potential long-term care costs.

The experienced attorneys at The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm can help you come up with creative options to help plan for your family's future long-term care costs. Let's take a look at one of the innovative funding solutions someone might want to consider.

Let's assume that Cheryl, age 56 years and Frank, age 58 years, are a married, working couple with assets in excess of $500,000, mostly in certificates of deposits. Cheryl's mother has Alzheimer's disease and has been in a nursing home for the past six years. Cheryl and Frank have seen first-hand how her mother's nursing home expenses have decimated her parents' retirement nest egg. To avoid this from happening to them, Cheryl and Frank want to plan ahead for their own retirement.

Cheryl and Frank can purchase a shared long-term care insurance policy that will cost them roughly $4,000 annually if they are in good health. Cheryl and Frank can then take $75,000 from one of their certificates of deposit that is maturing and purchase a Single Premium Immediate Annuity (SPIA) with a "Life with Cash Refund" payout option.

SPIA income payments with specific life insurance companies can be set up to automatically pay the long-term care insurance premiums each year to ensure the policy stays in force for life. Also, beginning in 2010 (thanks to the Pension Protection Act), income payments from a SPIA can fund a long-term care insurance policy. If set up properly, these income payments can be federal income tax free. Thus, using a SPIA to fund long-term care insurance premiums creates not only a tax-efficient funding solution, but also a convenient way to help protect Cheryl and Frank's lifestyle and portfolio from the high costs of long-term care.

Speakers

If you are interested in having an Elder Law attorney from The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. speak at an event, then please call us at:

Maryland (301) 214-2229
Virginia (703) 243-3200
Washington DC (202) 223-0270

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C.

The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. is an elder law firm. We represent older persons, disabled persons, their families, and their advocates. The practice of elder law includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, titling of assets and designations of beneficiaries, guardianships, conservatorships, and public entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and SSI, disability planning, income tax planning and preparation, care management, and fiduciary services. For more information about The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., please visit our website at http://www.chroniccareadvocacy.com.

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This newsletter is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this newsletter accurate, we assume no responsibility for errors, omissions, or damages resulting from the use of the information in this newsletter. The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. thanks the law firm of Hook Law Center for their input to this newsletter.

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