Many options are available for those planning where to live and receive care during their retirement years.
Independent living communities are for healthy, active older adults. Assisted living facilities suit those who need help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, and medication management. Skilled nursing facilities provide care to individuals with significant medical conditions.
Yet, as people age, the type and level of care they need often change. Older adults who start in one kind of community often must move to another facility that can support their evolving needs. Relocating can be stressful, as individuals leave their friends to start over in an unfamiliar environment, often while their autonomy and access to recreation diminishes.
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) present a solution for people who wish to avoid the strain of moving and remain in one senior living community that meets their evolving needs. Also called life plan communities, these establishments typically offer independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing in one centralized location.
Residents can choose from different housing options, such as cottages, condos, and studio apartments. Far from appearing like institutions, CCRCs resemble neighborhoods.
As elders’ needs change, such a community can provide progressively appropriate care. For instance, a resident may begin living unassisted before transitioning to receiving aid with activities of daily living or nursing care. A person who develops dementia can move into a memory unit within the grounds.
As well as allowing residents to remain in a single, familiar community as their health and abilities change, CCRCs have many advantages compared with other residential senior living establishments.
With over 2,000 across the United States, many areas have continuing care retirement communities, SeniorLiving.org reports. Since these facilities typically resemble ordinary housing developments, people may not know there is a CCRC in their town.
Choosing a life plan community near your family, friends, and hometown can maximize social support. Most people seeking continuing care options intend to remain there for the rest of their lives. In fact, this is continuing care’s primary advantage — so location is an essential consideration.
In addition to location, AARP.org recommends assessing several other components before choosing a life plan community. It's a good idea to tour the CCRC before signing an agreement. Also, consider the following.
CCRCs require a one-time entry fee in addition to monthly payments. According to AARP.org, the price can range from $20,000 to more than $2 million, with an average of $402,000.
Entry payments can be especially high for those who enter into extensive life-care contracts. Still, they receive assisted living, medical treatment, and skilled nursing care for little or no additional cost for the duration of their lives. They can avoid later costs by paying in advance for assisted living and nursing services.
For many, life plan communities are worth the cost. Residents can have peace of mind knowing they will remain in a familiar location with consistent support should their health decline. While maintaining maximum independence, they can prepare for future mobility or health complications.
Joining a CCRC requires signing a complex contract. Those exploring continuing care should consider working with an elder law attorney. An advocate can help them weigh the pros and cons of continuing care, determine payment options, and explain contracts before you sign them.
If youre part of a blended family (meaning you are married with children from a prior marriage in the mix), youre no stranger to the extra considerations and planning it takes to keep your familys life running smoothly from which parent your children will be with for the holidays to figuring out the schedule for a much-needed family vacation. Youve also probably given some thought to what you want to happen to your assets and your family if something happens to you. But what you might not have realized is this: If you dont create a plan for your assets before you die, the law has its own plan for you that might not reflect your wishes for your assets, especially your retirement assets. And if youre in a blended family, this can have a significant financial impact on the ones you love and even create expensive, long-term conflict.This week, we explain how the law affects retirement distributions for married couples, and why you need to be extra careful with your retirement planning if youre in a blended family to ensure your retirement account assets go to the right people in the right amounts after youre gone.Be Aware of How ERISA Affects 401K DistributionsIf youve remarried, you and your new spouse have probably talked about updating the beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts to reflect your blended family arrangement. (If you havent talked about it, you need to talk about it ASAP). Sometimes, people who are remarried decide to leave their retirement funds to their children from a prior marriage and leave other assets like their house and savings accounts to their current spouse. You may do this to avoid future conflict between your spouse and your children over your assets.But even if you want to leave your retirement for just your children, if youre married and your retirement account is a work-sponsored account, your children wont inherit the entire account even if you name them as the sole beneficiaries. Thats because the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governs most employer-sponsored pensions and retirement accounts. Under ERISA, if youre married at the time of your death, your spouse is automatically entitled to receive 50 percent of the value of your employer-sponsored plan even if your beneficiary designations say otherwise.The only time that your surviving spouse would not inherit half of your ERISA-governed retirement account is if your spouse signs an official Spousal Waiver saying they are affirmatively waiving their right to inherit 50 percent of the account, or if the account beneficiary is a Trust of which your spouse is a primary beneficiary. IRAs Have Different Rules Than 401KsIf you want your children to inherit more than 50 percent of your work-sponsored retirement benefits, and completing a Spousal Waiver isnt an option, consider rolling the account into a personal IRA instead.In contrast to 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored plans, IRAs are controlled by state law instead of ERISA. That means that your spouse is not automatically entitled to any part of your IRA. When you roll a 401(k) into an IRA, you gain the flexibility to name anyone you choose as the designated beneficiary, with or without your spouses consent. On the other hand, if you want to ensure your spouse receives half of your retirement savings, make sure to include them as a 50 percent beneficiary or better yet, have your individual retirement account payout to a Trust instead. With a Trust, you can:Document exactly how much of your retirement you want each of your loved ones to receiveControl when they receive the funds outrightEasily update and change the terms of your Trust without having to remember to update your financial accounts.Beneficiary Designations Always Trump Your WillWhether you have an employer-sponsored 401K or an IRA you manage yourself, there is one critical rule that everyone needs to know: beneficiary designations trump your Will.A Will is an important estate planning tool, but most people dont know that beneficiary designations override whatever your Will says about a particular asset. For example, if your Will states that you want your retirement account to be passed on to your brother, but the beneficiary designation on the account says you want it to go to your sister, your sister will inherit the account, even though your Will says otherwise.Similarly, lets imagine that you get divorced and as part of your divorce decree your ex-spouse agrees that they will not have any right to your retirement fund. However, after the divorce, you forget to take their name off of the beneficiary designation for the account. If you die before updating the beneficiary designation, your former spouse will inherit your retirement account. If you forget to update your ERISA-controlled account and have remarried, your current spouse would receive half of the account and your former spouse would receive the other half. Thats why its so important to work with an estate planning attorney who can make sure your accounts are set up with the proper beneficiary designations and ensure that your assets are passed on according to your wishes.Work With An Attorney Who Makes Sure All Your Assets Will Be Passed On How You Want Them ToUnderstanding how the law affects different types of assets is essential to creating an estate plan. But theres more to it than just having a lawyer you need an attorney who takes the time to really understand your family and your assets so they can design a custom plan that achieves your goals for your assets and your legacy. Thats why we help our clients create an inventory of all of their assets to ensure that every asset they hold is accounted for and passed on to their loved ones exactly as they want it to.Contact Entrusted Legacy Law at 412-347-1731.
Life is a journey filled with transitions, and one of the most significant transitions many individuals face as they age is transitioning from independent living to assisted living. This transition can be a challenging decision, but it often becomes necessary when daily tasks and self-care become more difficult to manage alone. In this blog, we will explore the steps and considerations for patients and their families when making the move from independent care to assisted living, with a special focus on the Grace Pointe Continuum of Care difference.Assessing the Need for Assisted LivingThe first step in transitioning to assisted living is recognizing the signs that indicate a need for additional support. These signs may include:Difficulty with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and meal preparationMemory problems or cognitive decline that impact safety and well-beingFrequent falls or injuries due to mobility issuesSocial isolation and lonelinessMedication management challengesThe need for regular medical supervision and assistance Open CommunicationOnce the need for assisted living becomes apparent and the process of transitioning from independent living to assisted living begins, it is essential to have open and honest discussions with the individual who will be making the transition. This may involve a family meeting or conversations with healthcare professionals. It is crucial to listen to the concerns and preferences of the person who will be moving, as their input should be valued throughout the decision-making process. Navigating the Continuum of Care with Grace Pointe: Your Assurance of a Smooth TransitionAs weve discussed earlier, the decision to move from independent care to assisted living, marking the transition from independent living to assisted living, is a significant one, and its natural to have concerns about the future. Many individuals and families worry about whether theyll receive the care they need as their health requirements change.At Grace Pointe of Greeley, we understand these concerns and are committed to ensuring a seamless transition through our Continuum of Care. Lets explore how Grace Pointes approach is different and how we provide residents with the assurance they deserve.The Continuum of Care Approach: A Personalized PathwayOne of the key features that sets Grace Pointe apart is our Continuum of Care approach. This approach is designed to help residents and their families identify their current care needs and anticipate future requirements. Ongoing assessments are done by our care team to help create a personalized care plan that evolves with the individuals changing needs. This means that residents at Grace Pointe who are looking into transitioning from independent living to assisted living are not locked into a specific level of care, and theres no need to worry about a dishonest bait and switch scenario.Heres how the Continuum of Care approach works:Initial Assessment: When a resident joins Grace Pointe, we conduct a thorough assessment of their health, preferences, and care needs. This forms the foundation of their care plan.Regular Reassessment: We understand that health can change over time. Thats why we commit to regular reassessments of our residents. If their care needs increase or decrease, we adjust their care plan accordingly.Transparent Communication: We foster open and transparent communication with our residents and their families. If a change in care level is required, we discuss it thoroughly and collaboratively.To provide you with a deeper understanding of the exceptional care and support offered at Grace Pointe of Greeley, we invite you to read testimonials from residents and their families who have experienced our continuum of care firsthand. These heartfelt accounts will shed light on the compassionate and personalized care that sets Grace Pointe apart in the journey and benefits from independent living to assisted living.The benefits of independent living at Grace Pointe of Greeley are clear; here, residents can enjoy a worry-free life without the burden of household maintenance while maintaining a healthy level of independence. Yet, when it comes to transitioning to higher levels of care, such as assisted living or nursing care, the process can be emotionally challenging for both loved ones and their families. This shift can be accompanied by mixed feelings, as it often involves adapting to new routines, healthcare requirements, and a shift in the level of autonomy. Grace Pointes Continuum of Care approach supports each transition without the need for residents to physically relocate. Instead, they add necessary services while remaining in their current living units, tailored to each individual and their family for the ultimate peace of mind.Your Peace of Mind at Grace Pointe of GreeleyAt Grace Pointe of Greeley, we are deeply committed to our residents well-being. The transition from independent living to assisted living should not be a source of anxiety. At Grace Pointe of Greeley, we go above and beyond to ensure that residents have peace of mind about their care journey. Experience the Grace Pointe difference through our Continuum of Care approach, where we tailor each transition, ensuring that your family member moves seamlessly from one living arrangement to another with care, compassion, and a deep sense of belonging.We understand that everyones care needs are unique, and we are dedicated to providing the right level of care at the right time, tailored to you and your familys needs. With Grace Pointe, you can be confident that you or your loved one will receive the care and support needed to thrive at every stage of life.
Let's say that you came across a shoebox full of old loose photographs or a few inherited family photo albums when you were in the process of decluttering your home. Let's also assume that you have made the conscious decision to have these pictures scanned by a Professional Photo Organizer in order to share them with your friends and family. The question will inevitably arise: what do you do with the original photos after they've been digitized? In the spirit of downsizing and getting rid of things that take up space in your home, your first thought may be to throw them away. The photos already on a flash drive, your cloud drive, and your computer - why would you need to keep the originals? The original photos are the best backup, especially if you use a cloud sync service to view/share your digital photos (i.e., Apple Photos, Google Photos, etc.). There are few worse things than accidentally deleting a photo on a synced drive (meaning it gets deleted EVERYWHERE) and realizing that you have no way of getting it back!Storage hardware and cloud software failure are rare occurrences, but they can be devastating. If you experience a power surge that damages your computer or the cloud software you use shuts down, you are really going to regret throwing the originals away! It is also important to note that hard drives have the potential to fail within a year, and most external hard drives only last around 3 years before they start experiencing data loss.Destructive edits made to a photo (i.e., cropping, lighting/color adjustments, etc.) can be difficult or impossible to undo, especially if it is the only digital copy you have access to. The original copy is always going to be your best reference if edits go awry!The original, printed photos are format-less. That is to say, you don't have to worry about "paper technology" changing as we advance further into the digital world. These "analog" photos are going to be able to be viewed by anyone at any time without the restrictions of cross-compatibility or file format.Using some sturdy archival boxes and labeled divider tabs as you sort through your photos can optimize your storage space! This means you can still maintain your goal of downsizing and clearing space! However, in order for this to be most effective, proper storage practices need to be used. Photos should not be stored in the attic, basement, garage, or anywhere where temperature and moisture levels fluctuate. By the way, you don't have to keep ALL your printed photos - just the ones that you consider the best and most meaningful! If you have already sorted through your photo collection and removed the blurry and "finger-in-frame" photos before they were scanned, finding the space in your home to store the originals of your favorite photos should be a non-issue. Also keep in mind that having photos you took on your phone printed is a great idea, as long as you create space on walls, in albums, or in photo books for them.
Our Firm Prepares You for Life What makes our firm different is that we were built with the needs of growing families in mind. We understand you are BUSY, you are growing, you are planning for a life of prosperity and you value ease, convenience and efficiency. You are raising children, and caring for elderly parents, while also working hard to build your own nest egg for a lifetime of support. You want to know youve made the best decisions for your family and that your plan will work when your loved ones need it most. You want to make sure your minor children would be raised by the people you choose, and never by anyone you wouldnt want, and that your teens and adult children are properly prepared to care for you and what you leave behind. You want to feel confident that youve made the right choices, and handled everything so that you arent leaving behind a mess, when something happens. That is our focus as well. Weve developed unique systems to give you the same access to a Personal Family Lawyer as was previously only available to the super-wealthy, so you can have the guidance you need to build and maintain a life of prosperity and wealth. And, to keep your family out of court and out of conflict, which is the greatest risk to the people you love and all you have created, even if youve already worked with a traditional lawyer or created documents online. Our Team Is Here for You We encourage communication with our clients. In fact, weve thrown out the time clocks so you never have to be afraid to call with a quick question. Everything we do is billed on a flat-fee basis, agreed to in advance, so there are never any surprises. We have a whole team to serve you. When you call our office to ask your quick question, you wont have to wait hours or days for a phone call back. Youll get your question answered, right away. And, if you need to schedule a more in-depth legal or strategic call with your Personal Family Lawyer, a call will be scheduled when you're both available and ready for the call so we can make the very best use of your time and not waste your time by leaving voicemail after voicemail back and forth. And, we ensure the most important details of your planning are followed through on and your plan continues to work throughout your lifetime. We have a funding coordinator to ensure your assets are owned the right way throughout your lifetime and none of your assets will end up going through a long, expensive court process or being lost to the state because they were missed after your death. Weve created unique membership programs to keep your plan up to date year in and year out as well as give you access to our Trusted Team of Legal Experts for guidance on ANY legal or financial matter. One day you will need a lawyer. I dont know why and I dont know when, but when you do, you will be grateful you can call on us and well be here to advise you or get you out of a jam. We Help You Transfer Your Life and Legacy Lastly, we believe your financial wealth is only a small part of your overall Life and Legacy Planning which is made up of your far more valuable and most often lost upon incapacity or death intellectual, spiritual and human assets. These assets are what make you who you are, and sum up whats most important to you. And, a survey of inheritors has revealed that what they care about even more than inheriting your money, is inheriting these intangible assets. Most estate plans only focus on the transfer of your financial wealth to the next generation. Most people have such great intentions of passing on the intangible, but very few ever get around to it. Its just not a priority, until its too late. How much do you know about your grandparents values? Their most prized personal possessions? How they felt about you? What they had learned during their lifetime? If you are like most people, you know very little. Thats why we build the capture and passage of these most valuable assets into every estate plan we create. Not only will we help you pass on your money, but also your values, your insights, your stories and your experience the truly valuable assets your loved ones care about the most. Weve developed a tool that allows us to capture and pass on your whole family wealth, including your Intellectual, Spiritual and Human assets. I cant go into all of the details here, but well definitely talk about it when you come in for your Life and Legacy Planning Session.