Unfortunately, your risks are still high. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “About 70 percent of people over age 65 need some type of long-term care during their lifetime. More than 40 percent need care in a nursing home for some period of time.” If you do need care, the costs are so high that it would not be over-dramatic to say that your life’s savings could be wiped out very quickly and well before you pass on. You could be left in poverty at the very moment in time when you are most vulnerable.

For effective planning, if you are making any transfers of your assets now, the five-year look back period must be taken into account.

You are not alone. Most seniors cannot afford, and might not qualify anyway, for long-term care insurance. Those who purchased a policy often find that the benefits are insufficient. The best alternative is to consult with an Elder Law attorney about creating a plan to become eligible for Medicaid benefits, and to protect your assets and income at the same time.

For effective planning, if you are making any transfers of your assets now, the five-year look back period must be taken into account.

For effective planning, if you are making any transfers of your assets now, the five-year look back period must be taken into account.

There are no hard and fast guidelines – because it depends on the state of your health as well as your age. The most important thing is to inform yourself about the risks you face and the options and solutions available to you. When you are in your 60’s, it is certainly a good time to become informed, and to take some modest initial steps, such as obtaining a good power of attorney and health care proxy. Probably by the time you are in your 70’s, you should be taking steps to protect your assets against the ruinous costs of long-term care.

For effective planning, if you are making any transfers of your assets now, the five-year look back period must be taken into account.

If it turns out that you are among the happy few who never need long-term care, you are probably OK. However, if you don’t want to risk winding up among the 70% of persons over 65 who need home care or nursing home care, you would be best advised to explore your Elder Law options and implement a plan to protect yourself and your family against financial disaster from long-term health care costs.

For effective planning, if you are making any transfers of your assets now, the five-year look back period must be taken into account.