How To Plan For Long Term Care Before You Need It

Kolleen Schocke |

It’s daunting to think about the day when you may not be able to live independently and care for yourself. But planning early for long-term care can help keep you from becoming overwhelmed if you develop a chronic illness, disability, or other condition. By planning your care now, you’ll likely have greater control over significant decisions and remain comfortable as you get older. 

Here are some ways that you can start planning your long-term care before you need it:

 

Consider the Type of Care You May Need 

It’s important to consider all the possibilities for long-term care before you must make tough decisions. Take a look around your home. Will you be able to move around easily if you develop mobility problems? Are there any adjustments that can be made to your home to make it more accessible, like putting in a ramp or widening the doorways to allow for wheelchair access? You may also want to think about the possibility of hiring a home healthcare professional or housekeeper to assist with your long-term care needs. If your home is not suited to these adjustments, you might want to consider options for a long-term care facility.

Even if you don’t currently have mobility problems or a chronic illness, by thinking about all long-term care possibilities early, you’ll be prepared if you need to make a quick decision to manage your health and quality of life. 
 

Explore Financing Options 

All long-term care options come at a cost, so it’s essential to weigh this against your planned retirement budget. Get familiar with the typical costs for in-home caregivers and mobility adjustments for your home. Even if you plan to stay in your home, research the average costs of long-term care facilities and nursing homes in your area. You might need to make a tough decision down the line and having an idea of the cost can help you make informed choices. 

Once you have an idea of what your options are in terms of cost, think about how they may fit into your budget. You may think that health insurance will cover all costs for long-term care, but Medicare and private health insurance typically cover very little in this category. If you have a low income and fit certain medical criteria, you may qualify for Medicaid to cover the costs of your long-term care but many people do not qualify. 

If you’re worried about paying for future care, you may want to consider long-term care insurance, which has many different coverage options that may help. Some life insurance policies will also provide coverage for long-term care, but it’s important to chat with a tax professional about how this may affect your taxes. In an emergency, you may be able to cover costs by taking out a reverse mortgage on your home. This is a loan that you don’t have to pay back as long as you live in your home, but it can come with high costs and repercussions.

A great way to plan for long-term care is to build the costs into your retirement savings plan. If you’d like help deciding the best course of action, reach out to our team to discuss your options.

 

Share Your Plan with Your Loved Ones  

Remember to talk with your loved ones about the possibility of needing long-term care in the future. They may be able to support you and help you to cut down on costs when you need care. Having these discussions early will also make it easier for your family to make the right decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to. Be sure to involve a financial professional in these conversations as well to guide you through the financial impacts of long-term care for both you and your loved ones. 
 

 

*This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a representation by us of a specific investment or the purchase or sale of any securities. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. This material was developed and produced by Advisor Websites to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. Copyright 2021 Advisor Websites.