In this post we would like to look at some California elder law resources that are very valuable for anyone who is preparing for life as an elder.
The best way to proceed when you’re making plans is to discuss everything in detail with a licensed elder law attorney. However, you should certainly do some research on your own so that you have a basic understanding of some of the most relevant facts.
Retirement Planning & Social Security
Clearly, financing your retirement is going to be something that is a top priority when you are looking ahead toward your elder years. The sooner you get started the better because Social Security alone is not going to provide most people with sufficient retirement income.
At the same time, you should know how much income you will be receiving from Social Security so you can plan ahead with the benefit of this important piece of information.
You can obtain a Social Security statement that will give you a breakdown. Future recipients must register on the website to access the statement, and you can do this by clicking the following link: Register your Social Security account.
It’s possible to accept an early benefit before you reach the age of full benefit eligibility. Knowing your expected lifespan and that of your spouse would be relevant when you are trying to make this decision. You can use this tool to help you out: Social Security longevity calculator.
There is no one set age at which everyone becomes eligible for a full Social Security benefit. Exactly when you become eligible depends on your year of birth. You can find a chart here: Social Security eligibility chart.
Elder Law Answers
The biggest issue that confronts the elder law community is that of long-term care and the expenses involved. Medicare doesn’t pay for an extended stay in an assisted-living community or a nursing home, and the cost for assisted living and nursing homes can be very high.
One possible solution would be the purchase of long-term care insurance. If you obtain the coverage when you are a relatively young adult, the premiums are more affordable. Of course, you would be paying for a longer period of time so you have to weigh the pros and cons.
The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance website would be a good place to start if you’re looking for information about long-term care insurance.
The government program that is set up to assist seniors who need help paying for long-term care is Medicaid. It is a joint federal/state program, and in California it’s called Medi-Cal.
Our office regularly offers free Medi-Cal Planning Workshops. To register for a workshop, follow this link: Free Medi-Cal Planning Workshops.
You can also find out more about the Medi-Cal program by clicking here: Medi-Cal website.