Page Reviewed / Updated – September 06, 2020

Planning for the financial aspects of long term care is complicated. And finding professional assistance is a smart approach. There are both public agencies and private organizations that offer assistance at no charge.  In addition, there are private advisors that charge hourly or project fees for their assistance. The table below details each type of assistance available, when and for whom they are appropriate, their associated costs and the pros and cons of working with each. If you require help finding affordable home or residential care, please visit our Finding Affordable Elder Care page.

Description Cost Pros & ConsMore Information
Resource Locator Tool Online tool that helps families identify relevant local, state, national and private assistance programs Free -Fast, free and simple to use -Cannot resolve conflicting eligibility requirements -Provides a list of possible options. Users must take the information and develop their own plan. Use the Eldercare Resource Locator Tool
Social Service Agencies Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) help families to identify assistance programs for which they are eligible as well as provide a range of other services Free -Strong knowledge of local assistance programs -Less knowledge of national programs and less larger financial planning experience -Cannot legally advise on qualifying for Medicaid or VA benefits -Often under-staffed. May have long wait times for appointments Find your local Area Agency on Aging or read more about the services they provide.
Elder Care Resource Planners Help families identify all possible financial and other assistance options, determine care cost scenarios and build plans for later life care $1,500 – $2,500 -Provide comprehensive view of all possible forms of assistance -Inexpensive and very thorough -Provide plans but clients must take action themselves to implement Learn more or be connected with a Elder Care Resource Planner in your area
Medicaid Planners Help families, who otherwise would not be eligible for Medicaid, to qualify by restructuring their finances $2,000 – $6,000 depending on services provided & amount of assets -Focus only on Medicaid; might not be aware of other forms of financial assistance -Help families preserve their assets Learn if you’re eligible for Medicaid and find help qualifying. Or Learn more about how Medicaid planning works.
Geriatric Care Managers Primarily retained to manage the care of a loved one, some care managers also provide assistance on the financial planning side. $50 – $200 / per hour – Very knowledgeable about care needs, local cost of care and care providers – Typically nursing or social work background not financial planners – Care management and financial guidance services are bundled Search our database of geriatric care managers with financial expertise or search the national association’s database of managers though not necessarily with financial planning expertise.
Veterans Benefits Advisors Help veterans understand benefits, eligibility and to assist them in preparing documents and finances for application. Free – $2,500 depending on services provided. -Can reduce time required to apply for and therefore to receive benefits -Greatly increase chance of being approved -Legally cannot charge for application preparation but can for planning help -Focused only on veterans benefits, might not be aware of other financial assistance Learn more about how Veterans Benefits Planner work or find a benefits planner now.
Financial Planners Trained and certified professionals help families with financial assets to prepare for aging and long term care  $2,500 – $5,000+ -Focused on middle and higher income families -Lack knowledge of local and low income assistance programs -Can preserve assets for future generations -Can be expensive Learn more or be connected with a Financial Planner in your area.

Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator

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