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  • John Todd

“He Spent $50K too much . . .”

Some people like to “bargain shop.” Whether it is yard sales, coupons, or just a good deal at Wal-mart, they just can’t pass up a good deal.

Others pride themselves in “paying the full price” and “buying the name brand” and “buying quality.”

Along life’s way, most of us realize that paying the very lowest price often means a “fall-apart” quality that will have to be replaced sooner.

Even with that, most of us don’t just add a $50,000 tip to the price of the new car we buy. And if we paid an extra $50,000 for a car, just because we didn’t do any comparative shopping, we’d feel pretty stupid.


That reminds me of one Nursing Home Medicaid case I reviewed while working in the state Long-Term Care Medicaid office.

A man in his late fifties was involved in a motorcycle accident. He was banged up pretty badly, and after his hospital stay, he was moved to a rehab facility for him to continue his recovery. Because he was unable to attend to his own affairs, his sister became the guardian and began looking at how she was going to pay the monthly bill at the rehab.

First, she spent down the bank account . . .

Then, she began spending down the retirement . . .

After 6 – 8 months of rehab, the man was making sufficient improvement to begin reviewing his own finances, even though he continued to need extended care in the facility.

Finally, he applied for Medicaid, hoping that he could receive assistance to pay the cost of his care.

When I reviewed the case, he clearly qualified for assistance . . . BUT HE HAD PAID $50,0000 HE SHOULDN’T HAVE PAID.

In this case, he didn’t need to spend down ANY of his retirement fund.

If his sister had just applied for Medicaid 6 months sooner!

And I think of another family I worked with.

The mom was needing Nursing Home care and dad moved into the Assisted Living.

. . . So, the couple sold the House and spent that money on her care.

. . . Then the kids cashed in the Life Insurance policies and spent that on mom’s care.

. . . and FINALLY, when they had exhausted almost all the parent’s life-savings, they came to me for assistance applying for Medicaid.

BUT THEY HAD SPENT DOWN THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS that they didn’t need to spend.

That is one of the biggest mistakes I see families make – spending down their family life-savings before they get help with those long-term care expenses.

If you or someone you know is looking at needing long-term care, the ONE PIECE of advice I would give them is this:

Let a good Medicaid Consultant review your options BEFORE you spend down your life savings.

And really, the sooner you ask, the more options you have!

So let me ask you.

Have YOU see anyone spend down their life savings when the didn’t need to? I’d love to hear the story.

Or if you have Long-Term Care Medicaid questions, I’d love to hear those to.

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