Welcome to our Author Interview series.
Today we're featuring an interview with Dennis B. Sullivan, author of The Senior & Boomer’s Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty. Our author interview series provides an opportunity for our readers to get to know our authors on a deeper level and also learn more about the types of books we're publishing.
Dennis B. Sullivan, Esq, CPA, LLM has over 25 years of service helping people and their families. With people living longer, it is important to plan for what can happen in the years ahead. Attorney Sullivan founded The Estate Planning & Asset Protection Law Center of Dennis Sullivan & Associates, a team of caring professionals dedicated to helping people protect their home, spouse and life savings from increasing medical and nursing home costs, taxes, and the costs and time delays of probate. We also prevent people from losing control over their own health care and financial decisions. Our unique education and counseling process puts people in charge of their planning so that they are able to understand where problems may exist as well as opportunities for improvement as they plan for a protected future.
Synopsis: The Senior & Boomers Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty
Many Seniors and Boomers are concerned because home values and savings have declined while there is continued uncertainty in Washington as well as with the economy. In Massachusetts, one-month in a nursing home costs an average of $12,000-$15,000 per month. There have also been a number of significant changes to the health care system. As a result, Seniors and Boomers are very concerned about how the Affordable Care Act will impact their lives, futures, finances, and health care.
The Senior & Boomers Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty was written to help people understand what Health Care Reform means for them and also to show Seniors and Boomers how they can plan ahead to avoid nursing home poverty!
Here's your chance to market your book. Describe it. Why should readers pick it up?
Medical and long term care costs continue to rise. In Massachusetts, one-month in a nursing home costs an average of $12,000-$15,000 per month. Additionally, there will be a number of significant changes to the health care system in the United States. Seniors and Boomers, are concerned about how the Affordable Care Act will impact their lives, future, finances, and health care.
The information in the Senior & Boomers Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty has been gathered and assembled by our team of caring, dedicated professionals, with Seniors’ and Boomers’ needs in mind.
Today’s Seniors find themselves asking questions that were unheard of only a generation ago. To help alleviate confusion and provide some guidance in a very confusing area, you will have a valuable resource in The Senior & Boomers Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.
Why do you think your readers are going to enjoy your book?
People will like the Senior & Boomer’s Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty because it provides answers to common questions, solutions to common problems, and lets people know that help is available in these confusing times. People will also like the book because they will discover:
How Health Care Reform will impact your family, health care, Medicare coverage and Medicaid coverage.
Hidden Benefits to Help Reduce the Out-of-Pocket Costs of Long Term Care
Alternatives to Nursing Homes; and
Steps you should be taking now to avoid nursing home poverty
How long did it take you to write your book?
While this book took 6-8 months of researching, reviewing, writing and editing a large portion of the book, however, is the result of our experience gained over 25 years of dedicated service helping people and their families.
What are you doing to market your book?
One thing we are doing and feel great about is donating proceeds to a worthy cause. We have pledged $5 from every sale of the Senior & Boomer’s Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty to the American Red Cross, to help them in their Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Can you tell readers something unique about your book?
This book will help you understand the Affordable Care Act’s impact on Seniors and Boomers AND how to plan to avoid rising long term care costs while protecting your spouse, home and life savings. The information in our book is CRITICAL for anyone who would rather preserve their life savings for their family than spend it on long term care. The book is unique because it helps Seniors and Boomers become better educated so they can prepare themselves for the changes in their benefits from programs like Medicare and Medicaid, as well as how this will affect their health care, taxes, and life savings.
Who inspires you?
Our inspiration comes from the people and families that we help every day. Their questions and concerns around the Affordable Care Act, long term care planning, and the future of programs like Medicare and Medicaid inspired us to write the Senior and Boomer’s Guide to Health Care Reform and Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty.
The Senior & Boomer’s Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty was written to help people and their families that are concerned about their future and want to protect themselves.
Have you written your entire life? Have you always considered yourself a writer?
We are professionals dedicated to helping people and their families. One of the ways we help people is by educating our community through workshops, guides, reports and books. This is our 6th book, which we hope will be a very helpful resource for the people and families we serve.
Our mission as Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorneys is to help people and their families to identify and prevent potential problems that will threaten the family’s lifestyle if they do not take action to protect what they have worked so hard for.
What is Long-term Care?
Long-term care refers to a wide range of medical, personal and social services. You may need this type of care if you have a prolonged illness or disability. This care may include help with daily activities, as well as home health care, adult daycare, nursing home care or care in a group living facility. Long-term care insurance is one way to pay for long-term care costs. However, the costs and eligibility requirements mean this type of insurance may not be for everyone. In our experience, most people do not have or want long term care insurance. There are a number of other choices available that allow people to protect their spouse, home and life savings. One such choice is to plan ahead to protect your home, spouse and life savings from the rising costs of nursing home care.
Can you explain to readers why planning for long term care is so important?
Yes, I recall an example illustrating the importance of planning ahead that comes to mind.
Mr. and Mrs. M came to us for help with their estate planning at a time when Mr. M was already in declining health. We proposed a plan to protect their home and other assets from nursing home costs (ranging from $12,000- $15,000 a month and rising rapidly), but the family said they needed to “think about” the plan.
The M Family knew they wanted to take steps to protect themselves from the increasing costs of nursing homes but their indecision proved costly. Unfortunately, before they took steps to protect their assets Mr. M needed nursing home care. Mrs. M took emergency steps to protect her home and some assets, but it was too late to fully protect all of their life savings from the cost of Mr. M’s care.
The family is now paying the cost of Mr. M’s care at $14,000 per month, $5,000 from income and the remaining $9,000 from their assets. The M’s were pleased that they were able to protect some of their life savings through “Emergency Planning” but were sorry that they had not taken steps well in advance to protect more of what they had. With more baby boomers reaching the age of 65 each year, planning ahead will become even more important in the years ahead.
Do you have any examples where planning ahead was successful?
There are a number of examples I can share, however there is one example of a family who planned ahead and was well prepared for their long term care needs that comes to mind.
Mr. and Mrs. V came to us for help with their estate planning and to protect their life savings from nursing home costs. We put together a comprehensive plan to avoid probate, protect their home and other assets, minimize taxes and protect their children’s inheritances. Our plan even allowed their their youngest daughter with special needs concerns to continue receiving special needs benefits and care.
Mr. V passed away a year later and when the family came in, we were able to help them complete the process and provide the family with complete access to their investments within a month, rather than being tied up in the court’s probate process. During a meeting, the family mentioned how pleased Mr. V would have been because it was so important for him that things go smoothly for his family.
The different experiences of these two families clearly illustrates why planning ahead is so important.
Are there any common questions you get?
There are a number of people that have Revocable trusts. They often ask if their home and investments are safe and secure.
While there are many great reasons for having a Revocable trust, the answer is quite simply, NO! Assets in a Revocable trust are open and available to you, therefore they are also open and available to pay the nursing home. What would make sense for long term care planning purposes, including Veterans Benefits and nursing home planning, is a different type of trust. We call it a “Protective Trust”.
There are many other important questions and topics covered in the Senior and Boomer’s Guide to Health Care Reform & Avoiding Nursing Home Poverty. It is available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNobles.com and BuyBooksOnTheWeb.com. You can also find more information online at www.DSullivan.com.
We hope you and your family find the book to be a valuable resource for you and your family.
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