Are you thinking ahead when it comes to the costs of your care? If you have a disability and you have a family, thinking about the potential expenses of your future care is essential. You need a plan in place to protect your spouse and other loved ones from having to scramble to pay for your care needs. What’s more, you also need this plan to make sure you will have access to care options that will preserve your independence and quality of life. As you work on your financial plan, just be sure to consider these assets and protections.
If you died tomorrow, would your spouse be able to cover the costs of your funeral? While this may be morbid, thinking about average funeral costs can help you determine whether burial or funeral insurance should be included in your financial planning. With a variety of coverages to choose from, this sort of insurance can help your loved ones cover expenses associated with your death, including all funeral arrangements. Opting for more coverage can provide an additional financial buffer, since those extra funds can be used for leftover medical bills. Those bills need to be paid by your estate before any remaining assets can be released to the family.
Funeral insurance can be a budget-friendly way to protect your loved ones from being stressed by your end of life expenses. If you would be leaving behind much larger debts, such as a mortgage, or if you are the primary income provider for your family, then you should also think about getting life insurance. A life insurance policy will typically provide a much larger payout than burial insurance but premiums are also likely to be higher, especially with a disability.
Did you retire from the military or is your disability service-related? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you may be eligible for VA benefits that could help to cover the costs associated with your future care needs; these financial benefits include pensions, disability compensation, and medical care. If you need long-term care in the future, you may be able to use your VA benefits to reduce your out-of-pocket costs or receive care free of charge.
Medicare or Medicaid Benefits
Medicaid and Medicare are two different programs that can each provide financial relief for individuals who require additional care as a result of a disability. Medicare is typically reserved for those who are 65 or older, but you may be able to receive Medicare coverage if you have a qualifying disability. Medicaid, on the other hand, is usually restricted to those with lower incomes, but having a disability may also make you eligible for this free health coverage. You may even be dual-eligible, which means that all of your health and care costs will be covered.
While Medicare and Medicaid can make the costs of your future care more affordable, you still need a plan for remaining financially stable in retirement. Retirement planning can include a few extra layers for folks who are living with a disability but it can also include some added assets that can supplement your retirement income. You may even be eligible for financial assistance or special benefit/savings programs that can help pay for living expenses during your retirement.
Real Estate Equity
If you own a home, you may have additional resources for funding your future care needs. You can use your home’s equity to help with care costs in several different ways. For instance, if you require home care during retirement, you could use a reverse mortgage to access additional funds without moving out of your home. If you need more dedicated care in a nursing home or assisted living, you can also rent or sell your home to free up some much-needed cash for care.
Paying for care when you have a disability can be a challenge, especially when you anticipate needing additional care in the future. By taking the time to plan for those extra costs now, you can save yourself and your family from having to make difficult decisions later.
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