“Health care is one of the biggest expenses that you will need to plan for in retirement, with recent estimates indicating that the average couple retiring today can expect to spend close to $300,000 on health care in retirement,” the National Council on Aging explains. “Choosing the right Medicare coverage is an important step in ensuring both your financial and physical health in retirement.” When a team of economists analyzed Medicare Advantage plan selections, they found that people were overspending by more than $1,000 a year; 10% were overspending by more than $2,000 a year!
NCOA offers options to help, including:
- Medicare Cost Estimator https://ncoa.org/age-well-planner/assessment/medicare-cost-estimator
- Benefits Check Up https://benefitscheckup.org/
- Enrollment agents
As is true of Medicare enrollment, estate planning also involves choices related to health, and, at Geyer Law, planning for healthcare needs is an important part of the estate planning process
In fact, in July of 2021, the State of Indiana broadened the choices for making health care wishes known, creating a single document called an Advance Directive for Health Care Decisions. This one document replaces the three documents that were once needed (healthcare power of attorney, healthcare representative, living will). Through this new document, an individual can:
- appoint a health care representative to consult with providers, making health care decisions on their behalf if they lack the capacity to decide for themselves,
- state their wishes concerning end-of-life treatment (life-prolonging procedures/resuscitation, palliative treatment/ nutrition/hydration)
- state their wishes for post death (burial/cremation, anatomical gifts)
But when it comes to healthcare planning, it’s about much more than executing documents. In fact, we often host (either virtually or in-person) family meetings where clients can not only openly share with loved ones the values and assumptions underlying legacy plans and healthcare directives, but talk about the realities and opportunities for what has come to be known as continuing care in a retirement community..
Estate planning and healthcare planning are inextricably related. In both, the right choices save time and money and prevent tears!
– by Rebecca W. Geyer