Are you close to retirement?
Whether you answer yes or no, planning for long-term care is still a good idea. If you are close to retirement, putting a plan in place in case you need in-home care or from a facility will help you budget your retirement funds appropriately. If you’re not close to retirement, thinking about a plan can help you determine how much you should be squirreling away in your 401k or other savings. If you don’t end up needing care, that extra money can be used to enjoy your golden years with a vacation home or international travel, or to beef up your estate.
How likely are you to need long-term care?
It’s difficult to look at ourselves and examine our “flaws,” but even more so when also considering our own mortality. One of the biggest predictors of long-term care is our lifestyle. People who smoke, are overweight or obese, rarely exercise, have high stress jobs or abuse alcohol or other substances have a substantially higher risk of needing care after 65.
In addition to lifestyle choices, family history plays a role, too. If your parents or siblings needed long-term care, especially for cognitive conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s, you are at an increased risk for needing that kind of care, too. If you have one or more of these indicators, consider purchasing supplemental insurance, starting an additional savings account or taking out a life insurance policy you intend on selling to have cash in-hand for medical expenses.
How can I ease the burden on my family?
If you are asking yourself this question, then it’s time to think seriously about planning and paying for not only long-term care, but also funeral and end-of-life costs. 70 percent of people over 65 say they want to take steps to ease the challenge on their families, but fewer than half have actually had a conversation about care and cost. First, look into your options for covering your funeral costs. A final expense insurance policy is a popular choice among older adults because it is usually easier to acquire later in life than traditional life insurance — typically without a medical exam and no waiting period. Like life insurance, the funds can be used for anything, including paying off long-term care or medical bills.
Are there any upgrades I need to make to my home?
The answer to this question can help with both prevention and preparation. Since in-home slips and falls are one of the leading causes of ER visits for people over 65, making your house safer now could prevent the need for long-term care. If your bedroom is upstairs, go ahead and move it downstairs. Install no-slip flooring in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry room, as well as handrails next to tubs, showers and toilets. If there are stairs that lead to your front or back door, consider adding a ramp. Many of these kinds of upgrades are necessary for long-term in-home care.
Life is unpredictable. As a result, we should do the best we can to make healthy choices that will lead to happier lives and a healthy future. When you are ready to make a transition to a home that provides comfort, care and compassion so you have peace of mind, make sure to contact us for a tour!