Seniors' Asset and Family Estate Planning
Seniors' Asset and Family Estate Planning
published Aug 2022
Steve Patterson has good things to say about SAFE Planning based on the Medicaid Planning they did for his mom and dad, Annie and Leonard Patterson. Although preplanning for long-term care and / or death is a difficult topic to have with one’s family, the Patterson’s not only discussed the subject, but they followed through with action. After attending workshops and getting a recommendation from Annie’s folks in Converse, they chose to do their financial planning with SAFE Planning.
According to Steve, “I knew financial planning was important, but I didn’t realize how critical it was until my mother became ill and required hospitalizations and facility care prior to her passing. When you are emotionally taxed with the stress of a sick family member you can’t always make smart decisions, especially when trying to deal with government entities such as Medicaid. You need somebody in your corner advising and guiding; somebody knowledgeable and experienced. Ric, Blake and Steve are as ethical as the day is long. And, they offer protection not just from the medical aspect, but they also protect assets from seizure by government or anybody else trying to get their hands on your property.”
Steve went to a workshop presented by the Rainey’s back in 2012 that he thought was going to be about Medicaid Planning, but instead the workshop was about the investment side of their business so he became interested in both the Rainey’s sister companies. Patterson researched and attended other investment seminars and workshops, and has been happy and satisfied with their decision to become clients of the Rainey’s. It’s an added bonus that his business relationship has evolved into friendships with Ric, Steve and Blake.
Ric Cochran has attended the Patterson’s annual fishing tournament on their Cross Lake property that SAFE Planning helped them keep and is also where 90-year-old Leonard lives. Not only does the family host the fishing tournament, but after the weigh-in, there is a big fish fry for attendees. Don’t let his age fool you. This family patriarch is active, lives alone in his family home and is still driving in spite of his “senior” status.
One of Leonard’s two sons, Brad, lives on the property too, and was a big help taking care of his mom before she passed away a few months ago at the age of 90. Steve is self-employed in pharmaceutical research and development and is also a talented musician, and can be seen around town performing with Noel Odom as "2Easy."
“You don’t ever know when you might have an accident or illness,” Steve warns. “SAFE Planning is there to help you navigate, but pre-planning is critical. Have the ‘conversation’ while everybody is happy and healthy, and set your financial plan up ahead of time … because you just don’t know what the future will bring.”
published Aug 2022
It’s funny how things can come together years after an event, but that’s kind of what happened when Carolyn signed up for a SAFE Planning seminar years before she got sick and had to go into a nursing home. In the intervening time, she and Robert attended other financial planning seminars, but they didn’t choose them to do their planning, and all this time Robert kept his card with Blake Rainey’s name on it. But when Carolyn’s health meant she had to be admitted to a nursing home, and he had to answer intimate questions about their finances, Robert (like most people) wasn’t thrilled to have the government in his personal business. He was told by one of the nursing home staff that Carolyn would not qualify for Medicaid. The cost for a nursing home is astronomical, and can devastate a couple’s assets in a short time without financial planning by somebody who knows what they are doing.
However, the end result was that another woman on the staff advised Robert to call Blake Rainey at SAFE Planning, and he remembered the card he’d kept for years. The rest of the story in a nutshell is that Robert called Blake who looked at his assets, told him about the one-time fee, and then assured him that they could get Carolyn qualified for Medicaid. It was a long process, about three months, but Robert said in all that time the staff stayed in touch with him, and when he called them, they always returned his calls promptly.
“That’s rare these days where everybody is automated,” says Robert, “It was a blessing to have such dedicated people to work with. Blake is just a fine gentleman. He was always there for me even after my wife’s passing. I trust Blake, Tara, and their team, because they have told me straight out about everything. The whole process played out just as they said it would, and unlike some other financial planning companies who seemed to just be after your dollars, they have been honest and helpful.”
Robert and Carolyn were married 45 adventurous years. They met at a race track, spent their honeymoon at another Texas racetrack, and ate their wedding cake on the hood of a race car. Robert built race cars, and he did some racing. It was Carolyn’s idea that they buy a motorcycle on which this adventurous couple traveled every state in the country. He says Carolyn was a joiner, and she was a member of local homemaking and computer clubs. When they figured they were getting a little too old for motorcycles they kept on traveling but on tour buses. Carolyn fibbed about her age when she was a young teen, adding a couple years to her actual age, so she could get a job with Kroger and she never worked anywhere else. Robert retired as a maintenance mechanic at General Electric.
We are sorry for the loss of Robert’s beloved wife, but we are happy that Blake and the team have been able to offer some comfort in saving the Franklin family from the loss of their hard-earned assets.
Jim Springer said he was pleasantly surprised that it took SAFE Planning only 30 days to get Medicaid approval for his wife, Alicia.
The Springer’s adopted two young brothers, ages two months and eighteen months, in the 70’s. So, Alicia quit her job for full-time motherhood. One son lives in Shreveport, and one is in Memphis, Tennessee. Jim described he and Alicia as Roaming Catholics because though they were members at St. Elizabeth’s, they went wherever the best preachers were. Jim retired from Granger in 1995 and started his own software business that he still runs. He also plays the guitar, and some people may remember the band he played with, the Mavericks.
Jim describes the situation in 2018 that brought him to SAFE Planning: “We basically ran out of Medicare rehab benefits to keep my wife in the nursing home, and she needed full-time residency care.” Jim had checked out other firms similar to SAFE Planning, but he said SAFE Planning was more attractive to his needs, so he called and got an appointment with Ric Cochran.
“They explained what they could do for us. The fee seemed steep at first glance, but my wife was in the Guest House for two years that Medicaid covered because of SAFE Planning, saving me around $150,000."
"SAFE Planning was more than accommodating, and I am well-pleased with their results. I’m 80 years old, and if I had it to do over again, I’d use them. I’m thankful that my estate was saved. They made sure I didn’t have to sell my house or sit here with a lump in my throat not knowing if I would have to survive on Social Security. How many people my age can afford to pay $6,000 a month for nursing home care?"
Billy Pace is well-pleased with the job SAFE Planning has done in qualifying his wife, Virginia Gail Pace, for Medicaid while saving his assets. Gail had MS before she developed dementia, and Billy took care of his wife for two years before he decided he needed help. After 60 years of marriage it was a very hard decision to make, but Billy knew their situation was worsening and Gail needed more help than he could give her.
Billy and Gail have seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, via their two sons. One of their two sons was a friend of Ric Cochran who works for SAFE Planning. Billy said his son, David, kept telling him he needed to talk to Ric; so he eventually made an appointment and spent over an hour with Ric discussing not only Medicaid approval for Gail but also his Will and Power of Attorney. The initial consultation is free. Billy said he gasped when Ric told him what the planning fee was. “I sat there for two whole minutes considering, but then I thought about what it would cost me per month for nursing home care, and I realized it was really a good deal, so I told Ric, ‘Okay, let’s do it.’”
“They (SAFE Planning) have just blown me away with what they were able to do for us,” said Billy. “It saved us our savings. I’ve talked to four or five of my friends, recommending they call SAFE Planning. There’s no way I could have done what they did dealing with the Medicaid people.”
Lani Arnold retired as Admissions Director for a long-term care facility after 20 plus years in the business where she witnessed first-hand the financial and emotional devastation when a loved one is admitted to a nursing home.
“I listened to spouse’s fears of not having enough money to live on while paying for a nursing home and how these couples had saved all their lives for retirement with hopes of leaving their children an inheritance,” Lani says. These situations led Lani to investigate how she could help people protect their assets when a loved one went into a nursing home.
“I attended a SAFE Planning seminar and I talked with families who had used SAFE Planning’s services to see if they were happy with the outcome,” Lani explains. “I also visited with both Steve and Blake Rainey on numerous occasions to make sure they too had a passion for the elderly. I needed to be sure their concern was more about people than profit. I called the Medicaid office and spoke to my case manager and made sure everything that the Rainey’s had told me was legal and above board. I had to feel comfortable referring SAFE Planning to my client-families because my reputation was on the line, too. I don’t recommend a service that I have not investigated and know it is a safe and secure company. Senior adults need protection. They deserve protection. They have earned that right. I can honestly say Steve and Blake Rainey, along with their team, have their clients’ best interests at heart. I’ve witnessed these guys go above and beyond for families, and I highly recommend their services. They will walk the family through the Medicaid process and fill out all the lengthy forms. They will fight for your rights and protect as much of your assets as legally possible.”
Jimmy and Barbara Bell had been married 54 years and were living in their dream retirement home near Lake Bistineau complete with acres of pasture land for their cattle and a pond stocked with White Perch for Mrs. Barbara when tragedy struck in the form of a stroke while they were readying to attend Sunday school at United Pentecostal Church in Minden.
Their lives were changed that fast. Barbara had surgery which resulted in complications necessitating a long hospital stay but Medicare limits the number of days she was allowed to be in the hospital so Jimmy had to check her into a nursing home that was costing thousands per month.
“I’m 80 years old, and I’ve worked for 60 years,” said Jimmy. “We’re not party people. We’ve been conservative and tried to save for our old age. Our home was paid for, and we’ve been careful to provide for ourselves, but at that amount per month, I knew that in a short while, all our savings would be gone. I was a desperate man when somebody gave me a card and a brochure from SAFE Planning and told me to call them.”
“I was very skeptical. I knew I couldn’t get Medicaid,” he relates. “It (the brochure) sounded too good to be true, but because I was desperate, I went to see them. I was still skeptical after talking to Ric their team. I couldn’t do it (Medicaid process) on my own though. It is bad that our government forces a man to go to such lengths to keep what he has spent his life saving. But I knew it would be better to save some of my money rather than lose it all so I did what they (SAFE Planning) told me to do, and everything they told me is just what happened. I thank God we found somebody who could help us, and who knew how to deal with Medicaid. What they do at SAFE Planning is just like a ministry!”
“I just feel so much gratitude to SAFE Planning and the way they did everything for me so that I don’t even have to deal with Medicaid! It was hard to write that check to them, but it has been well worth it for all that they were able to save for me and, anything I can do for them, I will do it. I tell people all the time that theirs is a ministry that even my church couldn’t do for me, and I’m just happy that there are people like them who have the know-how to do what they do.”
Jimmy is so appreciative of what SAFE Planning has done on his and Barbara’s behalf that he has even volunteered to speak at some of the SAFE Planning workshops to tell people how they helped him. “Because without them doing what they did for me, I wouldn’t have the gas money to get there,” he says.
He also credits Blake with helping him get over his initial fears of letting them have access to all his financial affairs. “Blake is very down-to-earth, and he helped calm my fears and skepticism of letting them in my business that I’d always taken care of myself,” says Jimmy. “But now I feel like what they do is a ministry to people like us who have no way to deal with the government and Medicaid while saving anything for ourselves. And, if I don’t live another year, I want to know Barbara is taken care of, and thanks to them I have some peace of mind.”
published Sept 2008
Joyce and Mark Stanley’s only child, Barbara Jackson, retired as librarian at the First Baptist Church School in Shreveport so she is a lady who knows how to research and get answers, but when her mother needed help navigating the maze of government rules and regulations with Medicaid, it was beyond her skills. After reading an ad and article in a local magazine she picked up when she took her mother to the emergency room, Barbara came to SAFE Planning for help. “I have been so pleased,” she said. “We didn’t know the laws dealing with the Look Backs and all the other things involved. It’s sad because people say, ‘You can do this yourself.’ But you can’t, and most attorneys don’t know how to handle all the Medicaid requirements either. Trying to deal with my mother’s financial situation was a nightmare before I came to SAFE Planning.”
published Oct 2008
Thelma was working as a teacher’s aide when she took a fall in the school parking lot one day. She was not injured badly, but Harold sees that incident as the stimulus in her steadily declining health. What followed were hospitalizations, rehabilitation, home health care and a period in a nursing home with no visible improvement in her condition. Of course the financial situation declined in direct proportion to all the medical treatments.
“My situation was dire, and I knew I had to do something about my wife’s situation,” says Harold. The “something” he did was attending one of SAFE Planning’s workshops along with one of his daughters. They were attracted by the promise of “No gimmicks, no free lunches” – just solid information, and the two of them were mightily impressed by Steve’s presentation. “Steve just grasps an audience and keeps them in the palm of his hand,” describes Harold. “Steve’s passion about what he was saying came through so clearly and it was plain he believes what he says.”
Following the workshop, Harold took advantage of the free consultation and met with Blake who also impressed him with his “very sincere and down-to-earth style.”
SAFE Planning works hard to make the best of some bad situations for our clients, and we consider our job a success if we can help improve the lives of those who trust us with their finances and overseeing the care of their loved ones. We hold the appreciation and approval of our client-families in great esteem, and we will continue to work to improve the quality of life and finances of our growing family of client-friends!
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