Stableford Capital Insights

What to Know about Legal and Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease

Experiencing new and unsettling cognitive symptoms can lead you to reevaluate many things in your life, including your financial planning. Even if you have not received an official diagnosis, talking to an expert about legal and financial planning for Alzheimer’s disease can be the first step to preparing for a difficult time.

How Early Self-Diagnosis Can Save You Money

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Waiting to get into a specialist’s office when you suspect something is wrong can be excruciating. But there are things you can do to prepare yourself – mentally, emotionally, and financially – in the meantime.Self-diagnosis may not be 100% accurate, but using online tools to get a benchmark on your cognitive function can help you decide how urgent of an issue it is. If your self-assessments tell you there may be something going on, it’s time to start meeting with professionals other than doctors, such as your financial advisor, to prepare for potentially difficult news and to give you a timeline.If you suspect you or a loved one may be suffering from a cognitive decline, there is no time like the present to get started on your financial plan. Self-diagnosis will only give you more time to prepare as you wait for more information from your doctor. Facing up to potential challenges can help you get started on financial protections sooner than later and save you money in the long run.

The Costs of an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

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Learning the costs of Alzheimer’s care during the diagnostic process may feel daunting, but you can’t move forward without being realistic regarding the hard numbers of the situation. Alzheimer’s care is one of the costliest, surpassing even cancer and heart disease. The average cost comes close to $290,000 over five years.It’s important not to get overwhelmed by what seems like staggering figures. Your care can be properly funded with your retirement savings, investments, and more. When you get help to deal with this challenge upfront, you will reduce stress and give yourself the mental bandwidth to deal with your condition head-on, hopefully resulting in better outcomes for you and your family.

Legal and Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease

The last thing most people are thinking of in the face of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is the need for financial planning. But even before an official diagnosis is given, doing some financial housekeeping can take some stress and anxiety out of the situation.For anyone experiencing cognitive impairment, financial planning is an important and essential step to take. If there is any possibility that you may soon be unable to make official decisions for yourself, aligning your financial goals and reality is important.When working with a financial advisor, families can help safeguard money and set aside funds for care. It is important to have outside help, since unusual spending habits can actually be one of the earliest expressions of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Aging in Place

Financial planning is a huge part of aging in place, but it takes some extra work and finances to remain in your home after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. That is why it is recommended that you begin planning for financial care for your home and any potential required upgrades to it early—even before receiving a diagnosis.The most important thing to consider is affording themaintenance of your home if you choose to remain with family there. Using a combination of retirement funds and investments to make sure you are set with a steady cash flow for the coming years can help to maintain a safe place to live.Beware: Some financial institutions target seniors—especially those who may have a chronic condition—with information about reverse mortgages and HELOCs. These may not be in your best interest at the time of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, so it’s important to have a financial expert on your side who can explain the benefits and risks.

Budgeting for Care

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If you plan to eventually move to assisted living, budgeting for this kind of care is essential. Costs can range from around $3,000 to up to $6,000 per month. While this is often the safest option for both a patient and their family as their condition advances, finding a way to pay for this type of care can be challenging.Likewise, adding therapies or in-home care when aging in place adds up. Round-the-clock caregivers may cost over $300 a day.Financial advisors can help to establish a plan and resources to pay for care as the condition progresses. When you have the right financial advocates on your side for the right legal and financial planning for Alzheimer’s disease, it is possible to afford quality care and still keep your family fiscally sound.

Digital Banking and You

It’s no secret that the older generation has preferred to stick with their in-person banking. But as more and more services go digital, it’s impossible to escape integrating some of these money moves into your financial life. For those experiencing some cognitive declines or complications, however, digital banking can leave them more vulnerable than ever.From the hurdles of getting familiar with several different banking apps, to being the target of frequent scams, digital banking is a learning curve for many. But with the addition of cognitive issues, it can create completely new challenges.

Digital banking makes it easier for trusted family and friends to help with finances for those with Alzheimer's - Stableford Capital-web

Luckily, digital banking makes it possible for users to get more help from a trusted friend or family member. This trusted individual can access account information from anywhere with the owner’s permission.This means the finances can be managed easily by adult children or a hired professional at any point, so that money is kept safe but the account owner can still access what they need.Use all the tools available to you to make finances simpler as you enter a new stage of life.

Don’t Go It Alone

At this uncertain time, legal and financial planning for Alzheimer’s disease Disease may feel overwhelming. It’s true that going forward, you may be working with a team of doctors, therapists, and caregivers to help manage this condition. Add one more member to your team: a Stableford Capital financial advisor.Our advisors have the experience necessary to develop a financial plan that works for you, your family, and your future care needs. Reach out for a complimentary 15-minute consultation today by calling 480.493.2300 or contact us online.

Nikki Sutcliffe
Nikki Sutcliffe is Stableford Capital’s Director of Advisory Services. Prior to joining Stableford, Nikki worked at Charles Schwab for five years where she was an investment advisor and most recently as a financial planner. She started her career as a portfolio manager at Girard Partners and worked there for seven years while helping to grow the firm. Nikki graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Finance and earned her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2013.