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How you can benefit from elder law services

ElderCounsel CEO, Valerie Peterson, J.D., was live on Fox 26 Houston on Thursday, September 15. She talked about common elder law planning misconceptions, long term care in Texas and what people can be doing now to plan for the future.

Problems viewing recording? Watch it here: http://www.fox26houston.com/news/205845244-video
  • Elder law is not for “old” people, but Texas are growing “older.”
    -According to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services: 3.8 million people in Texas age 60 or older, making up 15% of the population in 2010.
    -The age 60 or older group is one of the fastest growing populations in Texas, and expected to triple by 2050, growing to 12 million and making up 22% of the population.
  • Long-term care costs are a huge threat to the financial security of Texans.
    -Dementia is the 6th leading cause of death but is more expensive than the first 2, heart disease and cancer (in last 5 years of life)., with out-of-pocket costs 80% higher. Study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011 estimated an annual cost between $159 billion and $215 billion in 2010, expected to more than double by 2040.
    -Care costs in Texas: Home health aide: $3,623/month. Assisted living: $3,515, Nursing home, $4502 (sem-private) - $5931 (private).
    -Average income of a Texan over age 65: $46,305
  • Caregivers put their financial well-being and health at risk.
    -In 2013, TX had 3,350,000 family caregivers who provided 3,120,000 hours of care. The value (or financial impact) was $35,500,000.
    -65% of older persons rely exclusively on family and friends for assistance
    -66% of caregivers are female.
    -Cost impact of caregiving on individual female caregivers – lost wages and SS benefits $324,044.
    -Higher levels of depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges; elevated blood pressure, poorer immune function
  • Our legal, financial and care plans should not remain static.
    -Texas ranks 2nd highest among all states’ for residents with a disability.
    - If you or a loved one becomes ill or disabled, improper planning could result in disaster – financial and otherwise.
    -Our needs and desires in our 20s and 30s are different than those in our 40s and 50s, and this continues throughout our life.
  • Wartime veterans and surviving spouses in Texas may not be receiving benefits they are entitled to.
    -Number of Veterans age 65 and older: 663,000 (1.68 million total). Of that 663,000, only 22,880 are receiving a pension benefit – approximately 3%. (15,019 surviving spouses receiving death pension).
    -National numbers: 9.95 million Veterans age 65 or older in the U.S., 304,556 are receiving pension (7%). 211,716 surviving spouses are receiving death pension.

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