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Start planning ahead for Medicare

Aging gracefully takes carefully planning a regular investment in your health. Aging gracefully financially requires careful planning and forward-looking financial decisions. With the help of an experienced estate and financial planning lawyer, you can start taking steps now to plan for your upcoming Medicare application. Your attorney can also help you with estate planning, putting together a last will and even appointing a health care proxy who has a limited power of attorney if you become incapacitated for any period of time. All of this can give you peace of mind as you approach retirement.

Long-term health care planning isn't something you should put off until you're retired and already able to qualify for Medicare. You should consider purchasing long-term care insurance before then. You should also take steps to financially plan for when you retire and apply for Medicare. Doing so before you turn 60 is your best option, since it gives you time to avoid any financial issues due to gifts or estate planning. If you don't take time to plan ahead for Medicare before you turn 65 and become eligible, your assets or even your estate could be vulnerable to use for Medicare repayment.

Medicare applications require careful planning for the best outcome

For those who actively saved during their working life but now need affordable health care coverage, transferring assets can ensure proper care and coverage without total depletion of your assets and estate. While your savings are probably nowhere near enough to cover the costs of assisted living for a prolonged period, you could get denied Medicare coverage for months or even years, depending on the amount you've transferred. Transfers within the last five years can be considered when determining if you are eligible for Medicare. Generally, you'll get penalized for transfers until costs balance out with the amount transferred.

When you apply for Medicare, the application looks back at five full years of financial information. Any gifts to your heirs in the last five years can be considered assets, resulting in a denial of your Medicare application. If you intend to disburse some assets or fund a trust, doing so well before the time comes to apply for Medicare is a wise decision. That way, you can receive the benefits you've paid toward your entire working life without worrying about the potential financial impact or denial of your Medicare application when you absolutely need the benefits.

An attorney can help you plan for Medicare and elder care

If degenerative conditions run in your family, carefully planning for Medicare is a wise choice. A lawyer who understands elder law and estate planning can help ensure that your assets and heirs are protected while you plan for your future medical needs.

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