During our current era, sandwich generation planning has become quite important. When mature adults are still raising children while they are caring for their aging parents, they are members of the sandwich generation.
It can be very difficult to juggle these priorities from a financial perspective. You often hear financial planning counselors talk about the importance of retirement planning. Indeed, it can take sustained discipline to put aside the resources that you need to retire in comfort.
While you are thinking about the retirement years that are looming over the horizon, you may be helping your children pay for college, or you may be picking up the tab in its entirety. This adds to the complexity of the dynamic.
On top of these responsibilities, you may be providing support for your parents. Most senior citizens will need help with their activities of daily living at some point in time, so your parents may need practical assistance that is not financial in nature.
When you envision this picture, you can see why sandwich generation planning is important.
Working Together as a Family
Sandwich generation planning will involve cooperation among family members. When it comes to long-term care, there are seniors who can receive the help that they need in their own homes. You may be able to provide that assistance along with other family members and friends, at least for a while.
However, there are those who cannot receive the care that they need in their own homes. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, and it is very expensive. In New York where we practice law, the annual cost for a room in a nursing home is well in excess of $100,000.
Medicaid is the solution for many seniors. It is a government health insurance program that pays for long-term care, but it is only available to people with very limited financial resources.
Your parents could give gifts to family members before they apply for Medicaid to pay for long-term care. However, you have to be aware of the five-year look-back. Medicaid eligibility is delayed if gifts are given within five years of the submission of the application for Medicaid coverage.
If your parents could remain in their own homes with professional care giving assistance, they could potentially qualify for the Medicaid waiver program, which is formally called the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program. This program will pay for in-home care, and the requirements with regard to income and assets are more relaxed.
Our Firm Can Help
Our firm can help if you’re concerned about the future as a member of the sandwich generation. To set up a free consultation, contact us through this page: Smithtown NY Elder Law Attorneys.