By Shawn McGuire & Matthew Gaude
Financial planning after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is critical to ensure proper care for the future. Patients who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are understandably worried and afraid. We know this is a difficult time, and we want to reassure you that good financial planning now will help give you peace of mind that you or your loved one will be comfortable and protected in the future.
Types Of Alzheimer’s Care
The type of care an Alzheimer’s patient will need depends on both the progression of the disease and the abilities of family or friends to assist with personal care. Although everyone’s situation is different, most Alzheimer’s patients will need to plan for:
- Ongoing medical care to help treat symptoms and track the progression of the disease
- Safety devices such as home safety modifications or services
- Prescription medications
- Personal care needs
As the disease advances to more severe stages, Alzheimer’s patients will eventually no longer be able to drive themselves to medical appointments or the grocery store, and should not be left alone for long periods of time. Depending on how much care loved ones can assist with, patients may need adult day care, in-home care services, and eventually full-time residential care.
Costs Of Alzheimer’s Care
As you can imagine, the costs of these different needs and types of care can add up quickly, which is one reason why it’s important to develop a financial plan as soon as a diagnosis is made. A good financial plan increases the likelihood that an Alzheimer’s patient can continue to live comfortably as the disease progresses. And creating the financial plan early ensures the patient has control over what decisions are made.
Long-term care planning differs from Alzheimer’s care planning because long-term care is based on unknown scenarios. With Alzheimer’s care, you know more about what to expect. The projected life expectancy for a patient diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is 3-11 years, but some patients can live for 20 years or more. (1) Care costs vary by location and the type of care needed, but average life expectancies provide clarity on the amount of time you may need to plan for.
For example, the cost of adult day care in Atlanta for 40 hours a week may cost around 16,000 a year, while a private room in a residential nursing home in Atlanta could cost over $90,000 a year. (2) To project costs in your specific area, you can use this Cost of Care Calculator from Genworth, which also allows you to project how costs will rise in the future based on inflation.
Planning For Alzheimer’s Care Costs
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover ongoing care, so it is not an option to consider when determining how to pay for Alzheimer’s care costs. Additionally, a long-term care insurance policy cannot be purchased after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, so unless you or your loved one has purchased long-term care insurance prior to diagnosis, insurance is not an option either.
Fortunately, you have other choices. An expert financial planner can help you structure your investments and manage your cash flow to adjust to these new necessities. Even though Medicare is not an option, Medicaid helps Alzheimer’s patients cover the costs of care. A financial planner can help you navigate the Medicaid and Social Security options available to you.
An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can feel alienating, but you shouldn’t manage this journey alone. If you’ve been recently diagnosed, reaching out to trusted family members or close friends can help you share the burden, help you navigate the new decisions you have to make, and ensure your plans are adhered to when you eventually need more assistance.
Just as importantly, you need an expert to help you navigate these new challenges. At Live Oak Wealth Management, we are committed to helping you plan for difficult times and make the final years of your life as comfortable and secure as possible. Schedule a meeting with us today by calling my office at 770-552-5968, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or scheduling an appointment online.
Shawn McGuire is a financial advisor and the co-founder of Live Oak Wealth Management, a financial services firm in Roswell, Georgia. He serves the planning and investment needs of corporate employees, those approaching or in retirement, and 401(k) plan sponsors. He has worked in financial services since 2002 in positions ranging from financial advisor to stock broker and portfolio manager. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, he is trained to help clients with virtually all their financial needs. To learn more about Shawn, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.liveoakwm.com.
Matthew Gaude is an *investment advisor representative and the co-founder of Live Oak Wealth Management, a financial services firm in Roswell, Georgia. He serves the planning and investment needs of corporate employees, those approaching or in retirement, and 401(k) plan sponsors. Working first as a commodity broker and then as a Business Development Manager for a national broker-dealer in previous jobs, he has the insights and experience to help clients understand the complexities of the market and implement strategies to minimize risk. To learn more about Matthew, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.liveoakwm.com.
Securities offered through American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through *American Portfolio Advisors, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Live Oak Wealth Management, LLC is independently owned and not affiliated with APFS or APA.
Any opinions expressed in this forum are not the opinion or view of American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) or American Portfolios Advisors, Inc.(APA) and have not been reviewed by the firm for completeness or accuracy. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Any comments or postings are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial instruments. Readers should conduct their own review and exercise judgment prior to investing. Investments are not guaranteed, involve risk and may result in a loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investments are not suitable for all types of investors.