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Kicking the can down the road risks someone else making the decisions for you.
Lay out your road map while you are still in the driver’s seat.

  • 100% your Social Security retirement benefit will not be enough to live on 10 years after you take it
    • The maximum retirement benefit of $2,788 (2018) will be cut to $2,022 in 2035.
    • Because the cost of living adjustments do not keep up with inflation, in today’s dollars that will be worth about $1,400.
    • The average retirement benefit of $1,494 (2018) will be worth less than today’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit of $750 (2018).
  • 100% medical and long-term care costs will continue to rise
  • 100% Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits will be cut
  • 72% you will need long-term care, probably for years
  • 70% you will not have a Medical Power of Attorney or a Durable Power of Attorney
    • If you need someone to speak for you when you cannot communicate or someone to pay the bills when you cannot, you will need a court-appointed guardian. (This figure may well be higher.)
  • 66% you will die without a valid Will, leaving a mess for your family
    • If you have an IRA, 401k, other brokerage account, bank accounts or life insurance policy, you may not have named a designated beneficiary and a contingent designated beneficiary.
    • If you have a home or a car, you may not have arranged for them to pass on your death free of Medicaid estate recovery.
  • 50% you will get cancer (though only 25% of us now die of it)
  • 50% you will live in a nursing home
  • 50% you will be dead by age 80
    • The “silver tsunami” will eventually peter out. Almost 15% of the 76 million Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) have already died (2018).1
  • 40% you will die in a nursing home2
  • 40% you will be a victim of elder fraud
  • 40% you will be exploited by your nearest and dearest (this figure may well be higher)
  • 60-90% of elder exploitation is by family members, often using a Durable Power of Attorney
  • 37.4 % you will suffer from dementia; if male, 30.8%
  • 33% you will live to be at least 90, if you are female10% you will report elder fraud, abuse, neglect or exploitation3

1 https://www.history.com/topics/baby-boomers
2 https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dbsr/global-aging
3 In a survey conducted by the National Adult Protective Services Association, ¾ of the respondents ranked neglect as the most common form of non-financial abuse. Self-neglect was reported as a growing, but hidden, problem. https://www.asaging.org/blog/elder-self-neglect-growing-and-largely-hidden-problem


Long-term care planning attorney, Terry Garrett, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is active in the Texas and Austin Bar Associations. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.

She assists families of people with special needs, people planning for the retirement years and people administering estates.


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