Sep 29

As the Cost of Nursing Home Care Rises, Oklahoma comes in Most Affordable

Genworth recently completed its Cost of Care Survey for 2017 and the results are in. From 2016 to 2017 the median rate of costs for nursing homes increased by 5.5%.

The monthly National Median Cost for Assisted Living is $3,750. Oklahoma’s Median Cost for Assisted Living is $3,033. (Alaska has the highest cost at $6,000/month.) I have found that rural areas such as ours tend to cost about $2,400 per month.

The monthly National Median Cost for Nursing Home care is $7,148 (semi-private room) and $8,121 (private room). Oklahoma’s Median Cost for Nursing Home Care is $4,471 (semi-private room) and $5,293 (private room). (Alaska has the highest cost at $24,333/month.) Our rural area tends to cost about $4,800 per month for private room.

Even though our state of Oklahoma is the most affordable state in the nation, when you calculate this for one year of care (12 months), you can see that average nursing home costs exceed $60,000.

As you look at your individual finances and think about your retirement, does your plan have the flexibility to cover these costs, should you require such care or assistance? Have you looked into alternative sources of funding such care, such as long-term care insurance or Medicaid planning? If you would like to discuss such options, then call your friendly southwest Oklahoma estate planning attorney, Brent Howard at 580-318-8829.

Sep 27

Drought-Stricken Farmers and Ranchers have Additional Year for Replacements

Announced from the IRS today:

Farmers and ranchers who previously were forced to sell livestock due to drought in an applicable region now have an additional year to replace the livestock and defer tax on any gains from the forced sales, according to the Internal Revenue Service. An applicable region is a county designated as eligible for federal assistance plus counties contiguous to that county.

This relief generally applies to capital gains realized by eligible farmers and ranchers on sales of livestock held for draft, dairy or breeding purposes. Sales of other livestock, such as those raised for slaughter or held for sporting purposes, or poultry are not eligible.

To qualify, the sales must be solely due to drought, flooding or other severe weather causing the region to be designated as eligible for federal assistance.

Under these circumstances, livestock generally must be replaced within a four-year period, instead of the usual two-year period. But in addition, the IRS is authorized to further extend this replacement period if the drought continues.

The one-year extension, announced today, gives eligible farmers and ranchers until the end of the tax year after the first drought-free year to replace the sold livestock.

I know a few ranchers that are clients that are still deferring from 2009-2011. The hard part for these replacements is that a cow during that period was sold for about $650-800. For the past few years, trying to get a similar replacement cost about $1,200-1,500. As the prices for replacements has gone down, now might be the time to get those deferments off the books.