Most aging residents of New York look forward to retirement as a time of relaxation after a long life of hard work. They may have spent a lifetime saving to be able to afford the so-called golden years. Problems typically arise, however, with the unforeseen health problems that often accompany aging and the resultant medical expenses for care that come along with them. Without proper Medicaid planning, a lifetime of retirement savings and assets can quickly dwindle to nothing.

Most people look forward to living out the entirety of their lives in their own homes. Unfortunately, studies have shown that fewer than 20 percent of Americans will be able to do so, as a majority of people end up needing some form of institutionalized care toward the end of their lives. Whether this means a hospital, a nursing home or an assisted living facility, the end result is usually the same: the exhaustion of retirement savings to pay for long-term care, sometimes followed by becoming a financial burden on family and loved ones when savings are depleted.

Medicaid is a benefits program that helps to cover the cost of long-term care. Unfortunately, not only is it means-based, but it is complex, difficult to qualify for and hard to understand. Generally, it is only with the assistance of an experienced attorney and proper planning that a retiree will be able to access Medicaid benefits without first spending down the entirety of his or her assets.

It is cases like these where the counsel of an elder law attorney with experience in Medicaid planning can prove invaluable. Coordinated planning can help individuals avoid common unanticipated roadblocks that deter successful preparation. A seasoned attorney will be able to organize a planning process that accounts for a variety of possible outcomes and allows aging New York residents the peace of mind that comes with knowing their financial futures are secure.

Source:, “Traditional retirement failures“, Rajiv Nagaich, May 1, 2017