I suppose at some point, divorcing because of the health issue of a spouse becomes a practicality, however sad this sounds. I know of many older adults who have divorced because of social security and income tax issues. It seems that sometimes the “system” forces us to make changes because they affect our health or our financial status, our future or both. I certainly would not want to spend all of my savings and retirement money paying for health care costs for a family member, leaving me needing at the end of my life. This keeps taking me back to long term care insurance and all of the people, young and old, who question why it’s necessary. It’s necessary for the obvious. Most of us cannot afford to pay long term health care costs regardless of how and when they occur. Most of us have difficulty paying the co-pays for our insurance and our deductibles. Health care expenses are a major reason that some individuals file bankruptcy.

Let’s continue yesterday’s post regarding divorcing a spouse that requires substantial medical care. The differences are substantial based on the financial state of the married couple. For couples with low income and savings the unhealthy spouse most likely goes on Medicaid or public assistance depending on the state where the couple lives. At least in Colorado, the “community spouse” is entitled to retain a personal home and an amount in savings of about $104,000. In this case considering that the long term future of the healthy spouse is in jeopardy, what’s your opinion? Is divorce, whether real or not, the option to protect the healthy spouse?

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About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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