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The average annual cost of a nursing home in Connecticut in 2014 was $142,000 + or $11,800 a month.
If you or your loved one suffered from a debilitating disease which allows you to live for many years but which requires daily care, you can imagine the type of financial devastation that you and your family would suffer.
Strategies Available To Protect Your Assets:
3) Long Term Care Insurance
4) Asset Protection Strategies & your marital status
Married or Single The specifics of the strategies vary depending on your marital status and depending upon the type of money we are talking about:
Qualified or Non Qualified money
Qualified Money includes (IRA*, 401k, 403b etc money which is tax deferred under IRS rules) whereas Non Qualified money is money you have already paid tax on and the only tax due would be on any gains.
1) Basic Medicaid Rules
What can an institutionalized person (ill spouse or single individual) keep and how much can they keep?
*$1,600 asset limit for individuals
*$2,400 asset limit for couples (if both in a nursing home)
*5 year look back on gifts (any transfer for less than fair market value). The Federal Govt. allows you to transfer up to $14,000 each year to as many individuals as you would like to without filing a Federal Gift Tax Return. However Medicaid doesn’t care about that tax rule. Any gifts of whatever amount will be included in the 5 year “look back period”.
* Real Estate will not be counted if a written agreement has been entered into to sell that property for Fair Market Value and no Fair Market Value offer has been refused.
* Your primary residence is exempt if a healthy spouse lives there, if you are expected to return home and there are also some additional ways that the house can be protected from Medicaid “spend down” rules.
* Non-Spousal jointly held assets are assumed to be owned by the Medicaid applicant. For example, if the ill spouse owns a bank account with a child; Medicaid will assume the ill spouse owns 100% of the account unless there is a clear paper trail showing otherwise.
* A burial plot, a prepaid Funeral or an Irrevocable Funeral Trust is not counted as an asset by Medicaid.
* Up to $1500 of face value permanent Life Insurance will not be counted (whole life, Universal Life, Indexed Life). Term insurance of any amount will not be counted because it has no savings component to it.
* Healthy spouse can keep his/her own income, home, one car of any value and up to 50% of all savings and investments with a maximum of $117,250 and a minimum of $23,448. Please note that IRA’s 401K, 403b type of money can greatly complicate this formula especially from a tax point of view.
The Author’s Background
Mr. O’Connor holds a BS degree from the New York State College at Buffalo, NY; an MA degree from Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA); an additional 100 hours of study toward a Ph.D. degree at Clark University (Worcester, MA). Don’s firm is a Registered Investment Advisor
Don has decades of experience in the Financial Services and Asset Protection fields.
This Medicaid Planning booklet examines the different strategies available to you to protect yourself from the catastrophic costs
mentioned above. In most cases it isn’t sufficient to use one approach or strategy, you have to blend multiple strategies together to obtain a comprehensive, cost effective solution. Developing a plan is not simple or easy because Medicaid is a Federal and State program in which the Federal government gives the States some latitude in implementing certain rules, so the exact rules vary State by State. Legal documents are extremely important but by themselves don’t necessarily protect your assets from a nursing home situation.
To Receive this ENTIRE 19 PAGE FREE RREPORT which can literally save your retirement for you, your spouse and any legacy money you wish to pass on to your children or grandchildren.