In the first part of this series, “How to Plan for Elder Care, Part 1, Build Out Your “A Team,” we discussed how to initiate the planning process and the importance of assembling your advisory team- starting with a life care planning law firm.  Now let’s delve into the next steps: identify resources.

What Comes Next?  Identifying Resources:

This is where things can seem scary, because it involves gathering a lot of information and often it is spread far and wide.  In our previous blog, Be Your Own Detective, we offered tips and strategies for gathering necessary documentation.  Finding resources may seem overwhelming, particularly because not everyone has all the resources listed below. When resources are scarce, getting older can seem particularly uncertain.  However, it’s essential to understand that  “resources” include the all assets or programs we can draw upon to accomplish meeting your wants, needs, and goals.

Financial Resources                                                                    

Financial resources may include:

  • Recurring monthly income (Social Security, railroad retirement, pension, royalties, rents, etc.)
  • Primary residence with home equity
  • Farm or family land
  • Savings
  • Retirement accounts, such as IRAs, 401k, etc.
  • Annuities
  • Stocks
  • Investments
  • Life insurance policies with cash value or long-term care riders
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Collectibles


Benefit Programs/Public Benefits

Resources also involve benefits programs that can be used to in combination with your financial resources:

  • Benefits under “Original Medicare,” with a Medicare Supplement or Medigap, and Part D prescription drug coverage, or
  • Benefits under Medicare Advantage Plan (Also known as Part C), and
  • Medicare Savings Programs, such as Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), and Low-Income Subsidies in the form of Extra Help,
  • Veteran’s benefits, such as Low-income Pension with Aid and Attendance, service-connected compensation, VA hospice benefits, and burial benefits, among others,
  • Medicaid coverage, which can contribute to the cost of care at home, some assisted living or memory care arrangements, or nursing home care,
  • Department of Labor benefits-either cash payments or medical care with a “white card” under the Energy Employee’s Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA), and
  • Section 8 Housing programs for reduced cost housing.

Your life care planning law firm, along with other members in your “A Team” work together to corral and identify resources that can be used in your planning. Often the plan involves a combination of benefit programs and personal or family assets.  We consider your values and goals alongside your resources and public resources to best plan for the ups and downs of elder care, which can be unpredictable at best.  While your life care planning law firm is well-equipped to respond to a crisis situation, clients who plan ahead fare better -especially in terms of stress, time management, and conflict.

Your A-Team will help you gather this information, analyze it, and begin developing a plan for navigating this challenging phase of life. In Part 3, “Exploring Supports”, we will discuss the need for frank, reality-based conversations as a foundation for decision making.