Frank's News

From Frank's Desk

ARE YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW FACING A NURSING HOME STAY?

So far we have had more clients with senior related issues this year than we normally encounter in a 5 year period. The issues include clients or their family members that are facing some form of long term care. I have been to the attorney's office with clients many times this year to address the rules relating to Medicaid paying for the cost of care and I've learned that each situation is very different.

I've also learned that as we get older we have to be very careful with what we do with our finances and personal belongings. For example, the daughter of a client recently called to tell us her mom was facing a nursing home stay and that she had “already taken care of the car”. I found out that the car had been transferred to the daughter's name in efforts to keep it away from the nursing home. While it may seem like a good idea, this is exactly the wrong thing to do. Something like this can cause a person to become ineligible for Medicaid payments. 

Sometimes things we have been doing for a long time can also cause problems. We recently had another situation with a client that had a history of making monthly gifts to a family member. Even though the gifts were not intentionally made to avoid the nursing home getting the money, any form of gifting can cause Medicaid eligibility issues. While we normally don't plan to go into a nursing home, we still need to be aware of how our actions can affect eligibility.

With proper planning, there are some things that can be done to protect your assets. This could be as simple as prepaying for your funeral, paying off a mortgage or purchasing personal items, like a TV, for the person going into care. A spouse can spend money on things such as new furniture, home remodeling, a new car or other things for their use as long as the Medicaid rules are followed.

If you or someone you know is facing the possibility of a nursing home stay, please call me. It is very beneficial to seek professional help and ask questions in advance rather than find out that something could have been done after it's too late.

Raymond James does not provide legal services. Please discuss legal matter with the appropriate professionals.

CFG MANAGED ACCOUNT CHANGES

I know most people don't read the inserts in your account statements, but one very important announcement was included with your July statement. Effective October 1, everyone with a “Passport” account will be changed to an “Ambassador” account. The management of the account will not be affected. The biggest difference for you is that there will no longer be any additional fees for purchases of certain investments, such as individual stocks, ETFs or unit investment trusts. This change will process seamlessly and will allow us to consider alternative investments without regard to additional transaction fees.

0% CREDIT CARD FINANCING

Recently I almost found out the hard way that 0% financing on a credit card does not necessarily mean what you think it does. Last September, I made a $6500 purchase on a new credit card marketed as 0% financing for 12 months. This week I got an email reminding me that if it's not paid off in full by September 10, interest will be added to the balance from the day the purchase was made. At 28.99% that would equal $1991. Because the monthly payments were only $250 per month, I had a remaining balance of about $4350. Needless to say, I paid it off immediately to avoid the interest. If a credit card has a promotional offer, make sure you are fully aware of what you are signing up for. If it is deferred interest, make sure you pay it off in full before the end of the promotional period and beware that the minimum payments are not designed to pay the balance in full within that timeframe.

J. Franklin Cape, MBA, MSFS, CFP®, ChFC, CLU, AEP®
Financial Advisor
President, Cape Financial Group
Cape Financial Group, LLC | An Independent Firm
2345 E. Mason St | Green Bay, WI 54302
920.272.2273 office | 855.755.CAPE toll-free | 920.272.2277 fax

The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but Raymond James does not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of J. Franklin Cape and are not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Raymond James does not provide tax or legal services. Please discuss tax and legal matters with the appropriate professional. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® in the U.S.