The Four Stages of Wealth

“Wealth is defined as a measurement of the Assets and Resources we own during and after our lifetime.”

  1. Acquisition – The assets and resources that you have acquired over the years. We acquire investments, material goods, personal property, real estate, etc., because we expect to receive some kind of return on that ownership such as appreciation, self-gratification or just plain ownership.
  2. Accumulation – Accumulating property and assets that make up your wealth. We call this your “Nest Egg” or “Living Legacy,” the assets and resources that you plan to set aside for your own use during your lifetime.
  3. Preservation – Those assets and resources not used up during your lifetime for the benefit of you and/or your family. After your death, the government will tax your estate, you will have lost control over your nest egg, and your heirs will get the residue. When you die, transfers to anyone but your spouse are subject to sizable estate taxes. In the event of your death, transfer to your spouse will not trigger an estate taxable event.
  4. Distribution – Before you die, you have the right to “re-direct” your wealth and provide for your family, community or charity by taking advantage of financial and estate “pre-planning.”

*Ed Outland is not an attorney. For legal issues please consult with your legal professional.

Medi-Cal Myths and Truths

“Wealth is defined as a measurement of the Assets and Resources we own during and after our lifetime.”

  1. Myth “I have to give away everything I own to get Medi-Cal.”
    The Truth – Basically, a person is permitted to own some property, and still be eligible for Medi-Cal. The trick comes in knowing what is ‘countable’ and what is ‘non-countable’ under the Medi-Cal rules. For a married couple, this includes, for example, the marital home that is occupied by the healthy spouse. Whether you are married or not, certain types of prepaid burial contracts are non-countable. There are many other types of ‘non-countable property.’ The bottom line is, you do not need to be completely without assets to be Medi-Cal eligible.
  2. Myth “I cannot give anything away and get Medi-Cal.”
    The Truth –The Medi-Cal rules provide that a person can be disqualified for giving away property, in some cases. But, a lot depends on what is given way, to whom, and when. So again, it is complicated. Some asset transfers are not penalized under the Medi-Cal rules. Consult with an attorney who knows the law.
  3. Myth “I have to wait five years after giving anything away to get Medi-Cal.”
    The Truth –The disqualification is not always 5 years long and sometimes there is no disqualification at all. True, there is currently a 30-month ‘look back’ (not 5 years) for some asset transfers under the Medi-Cal rules. This means that the Medi-Cal agency will look back at all transfers of property, including sales for less than market value. For some transfers, the ‘look back’ actually goes back five years. (Irrevocable Trust). However, the rules penalizing transfers do not apply to all transfers. *See #2 above.
  4. Myth “I can keep all our marital property and my inherited property when my spouse gets Medi-Cal.”
    The Truth –When a married person applies for Medi-Cal, assets in either or both spouse’s names are considered by the Medi-Cal agency. However, some assets will not be ‘countable’ and you may keep some as an asset allowance if your spouse enters a nursing home. *See #1 above.

Associates of Ed Outland's Family Heritage Group

Law Office of Benjamin V. Platon II (Estate Planning, Probate, Special Needs Trusts & VA Accredited Agent)

8261 Greenback Lane, Suite 100
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
Office: (916) 745-4901
Fax: (916) 967-3514

Fritz Russell, CPAs

1337 Howe Ave., Suite 265
Sacramento, CA 95825
Office: (916) 966-9366
Fax: (916) 966-8743

Rick Buckman (Veteran’s Service Officer – retired)


To obtain military discharge paperwork (DD214) www.archives/veterans/evetrecs.