I’m a proud member of the National Care Planning Council. Care-giving is something we are never taught in school. For those caring for a senior or just beginning to get involved with caring for a senior the following serves as an introduction to the areas of planning that may require your attention. Please call or visit the National Care Planning Council at 800-989-8137 http://longtermcarelink.net/, a great resource for anyone involved in care-giving.
Life Resource Planning Is an Exciting New Concept
These are the resources which aging seniors have available to them.
Identifying Aging Seniors
Seniors are the fastest-growing population, not only in the United States, but in the world. Currently, individuals age 65 and over represent 13% of our national population – about 41 million people – but this will grow to 20% — 88 million — in just a matter of 38 years. Seniors also control a great deal of the wealth in this country.
For purposes of life resource planning, an aging senior is any older individual who is experiencing a change in lifestyle. Most healthy, active seniors ignore this type of planning. The need for planning is typically initiated when, due to the aging process,
· the family realizes that their loved one’s savings and investments will run out,
· the senior’s health is failing or
· the senior is losing his or her independence.
It is often at this point that one or more of the children of the aging senior intervenes to seek direction from someone such as a life resource planner. Many life resource plans are created and implemented as a partnership between the children and the aging parent. This relationship also gives the planner an opportunity to help the children of the aging senior prepare for long-term care for their future.
The Optimization Goals for Life Resource Planning
· finding new sources of income
· finding government services to pay for costs
· enhancing income derived from assets
· tapping into real estate equity
· reducing income taxes
Protecting and Preserving Assets
· making and updating legal arrangements
· implementing asset protection and estate planning strategies
· structuring insurance
·understanding and planning for Medicaid issues
· using personal service contracts
· implementing capital gains and estate tax strategies
Facilitating Favorable Outcomes for Health, Medical Issues and Final Preparations
· implementing strategies for improving or maintaining health
· understanding medical care issues
· planning for major medical incidents
· planning for end of life, including funeral trusts
Maximizing Family and Community Support
· identifying community support systems for the elderly
· implementing personal service arrangements
· identifying government and private support for long-term care
· ensuring family consensus for caregiving — a meeting of the minds
· putting together a long-term care plan
· solving family disputes over assets
Finding the Right Living Arrangements
· identifying appropriate places to live, based on security, cost and support
· identifying government support for living arrangements
· tapping into equity
· enlisting help for downsizing and moving
· maximizing the sale of property