Law Office of Paul Black - June 2019

WHY SENIORS ARE FLOCKING TO HOME-SHARING PLATFORMS An Opportunity for Easy Money and Social Engagement

The freedom of retirement certainly comes with its perks, but challenges of post-work living exist as well. Chief among them, for most elderly folks, are fears of social isolation and financial insolvency, as having coworkers and a regular income are not as common in retirement. Perhaps this is why so many retirees are flocking to home-sharing platforms like Airbnb or its seniors-only cousin, The Freebird Club. Airbnb reported last year that the 60-plus age bracket is its fastest-growing demographic worldwide, with the number of

you’ll encounter all kinds of people you might never otherwise meet, prompting dynamic social interactions and meaningful connections. The rating systems on Airbnb and similar platforms almost entirely prevent would-be troublemakers from entering your property, and users report that when a rare negative experience does occur, the company typically has your back. It’s a great way to stay socially engaged while staving off loneliness. Best of all, running a modestly successful Airbnb usually doesn’t take much work. It simply requires you to set up a neat, welcoming space, keep in contact with your guests, and ensure the check-in and check-out processes are as straightforward as possible. In fact, senior hosts seem to have a leg up on their younger counterparts, as elderly hosts earn the most consistently positive ratings across the globe. Airbnb and The Freebird Club won’t make you rich, but they’re relatively low-effort enterprises that come with some massive benefits. If you’re looking for a little busywork, some extra cash, and a little social interaction in your retirement, hosting may be your best bet!

senior hosts as much as doubling every year. Home-sharing platforms can be a tremendous boon to a tight retirement budget. It’s an especially attractive option to elderly folks who find themselves rich in assets but struggling with liquid finances. Home-sharing allows them to tap into these resources. According to Priceonomics, U.S. Airbnb hosts bring in a monthly average of $924. But home-sharing can do more than boost your income. By opening a room in your home to travelers,

Asked and Answered: A Legal Advice Column

Dear Paul,

Dear Nervous,

death of the first and the second spouse to die. This is also true of a revocable trust, but a revocable trust is considered available for Medicaid eligibility purposes because you still control a revocable trust. The big drawback of a MAPT is you have to give up ownership and control of property that you put into the MAPT. You should name a trusted third party (often an adult child) as the Trustee. You can’t be named as the beneficiary of a MAPT, but you can continue to live in the property and your property taxes would remain unchanged. MAPT planning is very detailed and impossible to explain in a brief column. Also, it’s not a fit for everyone. Even so, it is one of the

My wife was just diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. We are in our early 70s and otherwise fairly healthy. She wants to live at home with me as long as possible, and our children and I absolutely support that goal. We don’t have a lot of money, but we also don’t have a mortgage on our house and land (about 5 acres total). We want to protect our assets as much as we can before she has to pay for care down the road. What would you recommend?

If you think chances are good that there will be at least five years before your wife has to apply for Medicaid to help pay for skilled nursing care in a nursing home, you should learn more about putting your house into a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, or MAPT. A MAPT is an irrevocable trust, which means that you cannot easily change its terms down the road. (I say “easily” because Georgia passed a new law in 2018 allowing for judicial modification of an irrevocable trust if all involved parties consent, but that kind of meeting of the minds is far from guaranteed). The first advantage of a MAPT is that any property you put into your MAPT is “off-limits” for Medicaid eligibility determination after five years have elapsed from when you titled the property into your MAPT. The second advantage of a MAPT is that any property you put into the MAPT will avoid probate upon the

most useful and most frequently used tools in situations like yours. As always, I am happy to discuss your particular situation in more detail to help you determine if this kind of approach is a fit for your needs or not.

−Nervous Near Carrollton

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