everybody Nicole Wipp from the Family
& Aging Law Center here so I’m trying this again I tried this a little bit ago
but my internet wasn’t working very well so now I’m trying it again I wanted to
come on today to talk about something that came across my radar the other day
and it just really struck me and I felt super compelled to come on and talk to
you guys about it because it’s so important to have these conversations in
the New York Times about two days ago there was an article that brought to
light some information that the Federal Reserve have been tracking and that was
done via a thing called the consumer bankruptcy project and what they found
was that older Americans Americans 65 to 74 had a whopping increase of two
hundred and four percent two hundred four percent of bankruptcy filings in
the years 1991 to 2014 and when I saw that statistic it really made me stop in
my tracks because as an elder law attorney of course you know people
people and their money in their older years this is very much what we’re
concerned with as elder law attorneys and so immediately I suspected what the
problem was but I wasn’t sure so of course I had to go on and read the
article and what I found out was the number one reason that there was such an
increase in bankruptcy filings among older Americans is due to unexpected
medical expenses so then I started doing some more research and the reality of
the matter is is that you know when I look at the role of what I do as an
elder law attorney and also you know what we see every single day in our
office and then we compare that to both the information that we have government
data and other consumer group data what we learn is that people just really are
not prepared for medical expenses people aren’t prepared for medical expenses
period but certainly order a mirror are not prepared for medical expenses in
fact approximately 20% of medical expenses for all Americans for all older
Americans are directly related to out-of-pocket Medicare related costs and
so if you think about that if your income is automatically cut by a minimum
of 20 percent just be set out-of-pocket medical expenses then what does that
mean for the remainder of your income and how that gets allocated over time
and that does not include by the way long term care expenses that’s just
out-of-pocket expenses related to Medicare specifically so one of the
things that we see a lot in my office is just that people are not prepared for
the actual reality of what Medicare does and does not do for them and so you know
it’s really important if you or somebody that you love is going into these
retirement years and you’re going to be on a fixed income that you have absolute
clarity about what that really means and what you need to expect when it comes to
what your out-of-pocket expenses are going to be it’s best especially when it
comes to healthcare because like I said if you’re automatically taking an
average 20 percent off the top then that’s a significant amount so that’s
the one of the first things now the other thing is that people are not
taking into consideration of course at all long term care and that I think is
something that is of course even more threatening to Americans when it comes
to their lifetime financial security you know if you’re looking at the situation
like what is it going to mean for me to live out the remainder of my life am I
going to be able to you know live out the remainder of my life without going
bankrupt without going into poverty then these are the things that you need to be
thinking about and so long-term care expenses are certainly a big big huge
part about that now the threat of
term care expenses right now the US Department of Health and Services
long-term services and supports for older Americans risk and financing
research brief yeah that’s this huge long name they found in 2017 that over
half of Americans turning 65 are going to need long-term care services over
half of Americans turning 65 so okay I just told you that 20% of your income is
coming off the top related to out-of-pocket Medicare expenses Medicare
does not cover by the way long-term care expenses and if 50% of Americans are
going to need long-term care then what does that mean – what’s the money in
your pocket and what you’re going to be able to afford and so that’s the reason
why I say this risk is even more when it cut when you factor in long-term care
expenses at a final note the other thing that this bankruptcy filings noted was
that one of the are the further research on these bankruptcy filings noted is
that another one of the big reasons why older Americans are filing bankruptcy is
due to their paying the expenses of other people and so sometimes an older
American expand their parents expenses their taking on the financial burden of
their own parents but and I think this is one of the things that is definitely
not talked about enough and certainly is sort of like you know sort of like
almost a dirty little secret among families is how many people actually are
still taking on the burden of taking care of their adult children as they age
one of the things that never ceases to amaze me when I’m sitting down with
clients in my office is to discover how many of my clients that have children
that still live with them and that they are paying all the expenses or majority
of the expenses for these children now before you step back and say oh
those Millennials those Millennials they just mooch off their parents we never
can get rid of them I am NOT talking about Millennials
actually what we see in our office a lot of times is baby boomer children still
living with their parents with no know bringing and no income into their
parents home paying no expenses in their parents home and not necessarily being
caregivers to their parents although that may be part of what’s going on but
they are basically living off of their parents as adult children and so you
know this idea that Millennials are living off of their parents is probably
pretty real but it isn’t just Millennials that are doing this it’s
it’s people children that I wouldn’t consider a child right I’m in Gen X and
but a majority of my clients are baby boomers and then what we would call
older Americans the baby boomer children are actually living off of their older
American parents and so this is actually also causing a crush of financial
problems for older Americans that they simply can’t bear and when we look at a
dramatic increase of two hundred and four percent in bankruptcy filings among
people of this demographic then we just cannot if you care about people in your
life if you care about people in your community if you care about the idea
that somebody that’s older is going to fall into poverty and is not going to be
able to live out the remainder of their life and any sort of comfort if you’re
the kind of person that cares about those things I know I am and the people
that work with me are definitely like that as well then we can’t afford to
ignore this is a true and serious problem and we can’t allow for not
having these conversations as families as communities about what is it you know
if you’re taking care of your adult children or if you’re the adult children
being taken care of or if maybe you have a sibling that your parents are taking
care of you’re your sibling and then this needs to really start becoming in
the forefront as a family conversation about what is the realistic sense of
this over the course of your parents lifetime because very
often what we’re seeing in our office is that it’s not a realistic financial
scenario and in fact from an elder law perspective it’s going to cost tons of
financial problems if somebody actually needs long-term care in the future and
so all right I know I just like dumped a bunch of information on you and it was
very much triggered by this New York Times article and it just really brought
out this passion inside of me about what I do and how important the work that we
do here is but I just will say you know a lot of this it feels very gloom and
doom all the time you know when I’m talking about all their loss stuff for
so many people it just is so gloomy do me kind of discussion it feels very
heavy it feels very negative but at the other end of the spectrum it’s much more
negative to actually have to face it to actually have to deal with it to
actually be in the situation especially when there are things that can be done
to either eliminate or mitigate this as a threat to your parents to yourselves
over time and what that really requires is have the right professionals on board
with you whether it’s your legal professionals people like myself that
are elder law attorneys you know the right financial professionals that
really understand this whole balance of long-term care Medicare and everything
else and your tax professionals so it’s that comprehensive approach that will
sort of fend off some of these problems now for some people this problem is not
going to ever go away just based on you know their ability to retain lifetime
financial security and the reality is as bad things happen to good people but we
want to avoid that as much as possible that’s always my goal and I just think
that when we look at this information when we look at this data when we see
that this is the information that’s coming directly from the Federal Reserve
from Department of Health and Human Services from these federal agencies
that this is the information that they track I’m not making this information up
this is information that’s publicly available
out there then there’s something that is very problematic and we need to be aware
of it and we need to know that there are things that we can do to solve these
problems and so that’s partly what we’re here for we’re also here to help you
guys get to the right resources but first you have to recognize that this is
a potential problem and then be willing to do something about it
and of course if you have any questions about your situation always feel free to
give us a call and or come into our office and have a conversation with us
because that’s what we do but I just really felt so passionate about this
after I saw the article I wanted to share it with you I will definitely put
the link to that specific article down in the comments below and I will also be
able to provide to you any other citations reference saying any of the
information that I brought forth today because there’s a bunch of white papers
and other things like that if you’re the kind of person that likes to delve into
the information I’ll make it available to you otherwise just know that
everything I told you today is based on publicly information publicly available
data and information that is based on the research that’s being done by our
government today so hopefully you thought this was interesting maybe a
little bit scary and if it’s not something that you have done something
about in the past it’s time it’s time to step up to the plate and get all these
things taken care of so anyway I’m gonna do a little bit more
of this kind of stuff because I come across these tidbits a lot and I get all
fired up about it and then I like talk to my staff about it but they don’t unto
the choir when I’m talking to the team you guys are the ones that need to hear
these things so anytime I come across something like this that I think it’s
good for you to know I’ll come on here and do this and then also if you don’t
know we do have a YouTube channel and you can subscribe to that as well where
I go in more depth about just specific legal topics
alright everybody hope you’re having a great day it’s Friday have a wonderful
weekend and we’ll be talking to you soon bye bye