Retirement Daily Learning Center: Critical Conversations with Your Family: Six Steps to Ensure Success

Retirement Daily Learning Center: Critical Conversations with Your Family: Six Steps to Ensure Success

Ask Bob: Where Can We Find Help for Supporting Elderly Parents When We Retire?

Adviser Holly Donaldson provides guidance on where to find help when your retirement and an aging parent's financial needs collide.
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Question

Our question is about supporting elderly parents when we retire. We have always made a very good living and saved and planned for retirement at a standard of living that we desire. Enter an elderly parent who is in an assisted living facility, but at age 94, will run out of his own funds just as we would like to retire.

Our plans did not include the $50,000 (current fee) per year to keep him in his facility. Our plan should allow us to assist to the tune of $5,000 - $10,000 a year, but $50.000 plus will have a major impact on our retirement lifestyle. This is so difficult. Any suggestions?

Answer

Elder law attorneys specialize in this problem, says Holly Donaldson, CFP®, CEPS, Holly Donaldson Financial Planning, LLC. There may be programs available to help the elderly parent before relying on adult children.

​Is the elderly parent a veteran or spouse of a veteran? “If so,” says Donaldson, “and the veteran served at least one day during active wartime, he or she may be eligible for VA Aid and Assistance benefits, for example.

If assets are already running low, the attorney can help evaluate whether an application should be made to Medicaid. “Often this can and should be done months or even years before actual assistance is needed,” notes Donaldson.

"The local county department of aging services also exists to help families in similar circumstances," she says. “The elder law attorney will be familiar with all available means besides possibly impoverishing the adult children.” 

Donaldson saysMartindale.com is a good place to find an elder law attorney, as well as the website for your local bar association.

Got questions? Get answers!

Email Robert.Powell@maven.io.

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Question

Our question is about supporting elderly parents when we retire. We have always made a very good living and saved and planned for retirement at a standard of living that we desire. Enter an elderly parent who is in an assisted living facility, but at age 94, will run out of his own funds just as we would like to retire.

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