As elder law attorneys, we speak to a lot of senior citizens that want to learn about the legal matters that they should be concerned about. In some cases, clients come to us after problems have arisen, and it can be difficult to mitigate the damage at that point.
Information is the key to a comfortable, secure retirement that culminates in the effective passing of your legacy. In this post, we will look at some frequently asked questions that elder law attorneys hear, and we will provide answers that will help you understand some important issues.
Is it true that I can start to receive Social Security when I am just 62 years of age?
Any time we discuss the Social Security parameters, we point out the fact that they are subject to change via legislative mandate. This being stated, at the present time, you can in fact start to collect a monthly Social Security payout when you are 62.
However, it would be a reduced benefit that would be somewhere between 70 and 75 percent of your full benefit.
The age of full Social Security benefit eligibility depends on the year of your birth. For people born between 1943 and 1954, the eligibility age is 66.
It then goes up by two months per year, so if you were born in 1955, you would be eligible two months after your 66th birthday. This two-month per year graduation ends in 1960. People born during that year or a later year become eligible for a full Social Security benefit at the age of 67.
We should point out the fact that it is possible to delay the submission of your application for Social Security benefits until you are as old as 70 years of age. If you go this route, your benefit would go up by eight percent for every year that you delay after you are eligible for your full benefit.
When can I get Medicare and how does it work?
The eligibility age for Medicare coverage is different than the Social Security eligibility age. As the laws stand at the time of this writing, everyone who has paid into the program sufficiently will become eligible for Medicare when they reach the age of 65.
This program is broken down into four sections: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. The first portion covers inpatient hospitalization. For most people, there is no monthly premium, but there is a $1484 deductible per benefit period. There is also coinsurance for long hospital stays.
Medicare Part B pays for treatments that are administered by doctors and other health care professionals.
There is a monthly premium for this coverage, and in 2021, the standard premium amount is $148.50. There is a $203 deductible, and you have to pay 20 percent of the covered costs out of your own pocket.
Part C allows you to apply your Medicare eligibility to the purchase of health insurance from a private company, and Part D is the prescription drug component. There can be monthly premiums, deductibles, and copayments for Part D coverage.
Does Medicare pay for long-term care?
This is one of the most important matters that we address. Since Medicare exists to meet the health care needs of seniors, you may assume it would pay for living assistance.
The program will pay for convalescent care after an injury or illness when the patient is expected to recover fully. However, it does not cover custodial care. This is the type of care that you would receive in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
What percentage of seniors will require living assistance?
According to the website LongTermCare.gov, which is maintained by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, seven out of every 10 people that reach the age of 65 will need living assistance eventually. About 35 percent of them will reside in nursing homes.
How much does it cost to stay in a nursing home?
According to Genworth Financial, the median annual charge for a private room in a nursing home in Staten Island was $155,125 in 2020. The average length of stay is 12 months, and married couples may face two rounds of these costs.
Schedule a Nursing Home Asset Protection Consultation!
These are some eye-opening facts, but you can protect your assets from devastating nursing home costs if you take the right steps in advance. If you are ready to implement a nursing home asset protection strategy, we are here to help.
You can schedule a consultation at our Staten Island elder care planning office if you call us at 332-456-0500, and you can fill out our contact form if you would rather send us a message.