Life expectancy has increased in the U.S., and so it’s more important than ever to plan for your health needs as you age. Keep in mind the need for long-term care, either as in-home nursing care or at a residential facility. According to experts, 63 percent of Americans age 65 and older will require long-term care at some point.
The cost of long-term care spending can shock many retirees. Care related to physical, mental, social, and medical needs in the event of significant physical or mental declines only accelerates with age, and there is no way to accurately predict the total expenses. Expensive long-term care costs can easily chip away at your retirement plan – even if it was well thought out.
If you’re considering a nursing home for yourself or your loved one, it can be extremely expensive, and Medicare seldom covers it. Although Medicaid does cover such care, qualifying as a Medicaid recipient can be extremely difficult. Experts recommend hiring a financial professional long before you need care, to review assets and assess resources. In some cases, you could consider taking out a long-term health insurance policy that will help ensure quality care and avoid financial disaster.
Why People Fail to Plan
There can be a variety of reasons you may not have adequately started planning for long-term care, including:
- Avoiding thinking about having to rely on others for your care
- Not understanding the risks of needing care
- Not being aware of what long-term care will actually cost
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is to plan wisely and not count on family to manage the demands of complex elder care. A financial professional or elder care attorney can help you accurately evaluate your financial situation and work to ensure that care will be available when you need it.
Consulting an attorney experienced in elder care planning can be helpful if you are considering enrolling in a long-term health insurance policy as well. Such policies are expensive and often involve complicated terms and exclusions. The elder care attorneys at TuckerAllen can guide you through the process of evaluating policies and deciding whether such insurance is right for you.