Wise Choices Are the Key When Considering Long-Term Care

Ferguson & Ferguson

Attorneys at Law

August 9th, 2018


Image courtesy of Pixabay

If you should require long-term care down the road, how will you pay for it? Most people need long-term care at some point in their senior years. It’s crucial to make plans in the event you are someone who requires long-term care.

The majority of us will need long-term care at some point in the future. According to some researchers, as many as 70 percent of Americans eventually require help in the form of long-term care. Should you become one of the many people needing long-term care, what plan do you have in place? How will you pay for it?

Plan for Your Needs

Weigh Your Risk

Who needs long-term care? You might be thinking you don’t need to worry about it, especially if you’re young and healthy. However, as you grow older, the likelihood that you will require long-term care increases. How do you decide if you or a loved one is at risk? Many factors come into play, and while there is nothing that will guarantee you will not require long-term care, there are certain concerns which can predispose you to needing it.

Ask yourself these questions:

● What daily decisions are you making now, and how can you lower your risk of injury or onset of illness? People who choose unhealthy indulgences, such as a high-fat diet or smoking cigarettes, add to their likelihood for requiring care. Those who live alone are also more apt to require assistance.
● Should you modify your home to make it more accessible? A home designed for aging in place can support you and help you to remain more independent.
● Do any medical conditions run in your family? Hereditary issues issues such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease can raise your risk for needing care.

Paying for Care

Costly and Important

Long-term care is expensive, and as we grow older, our medical costs often increase. As Kiplinger points out, assisted living facilities charge around $3,750 per month. While very wealthy people can afford that out-of-pocket, most people cannot. Medicare is available to those age 65 and older, but it doesn’t cover all situations. Learn about supplemental planssupplemental plans to help cover any costs relating to additional medical care for you or your loved one, including copayments and deductibles.

When deciding how you want to proceed, ask yourself these questions:

● Are you nearing retirement? Remember, once you retire, your workplace benefits run out; how soon you retire can help determine how quickly you need to allot funds.
● Do you have an existing plan to pay for the costs of long-term care? If not, remember the earlier you begin planning, the better.
● What savings and insurance programs are available to help pay for long-term care should the need arise?

Kinds of Insurance

The three primary forms of long-term care insurance are good options for many consumers. There is traditional long-term care insurance, which is a particularly smart choice if you purchase a plan while young since premiums are lower for younger policyholders. There are also short-term care policies that cover a limited duration like a year, and there are hybrid policies that combine life insurance with long-term care insurance.

Other Options

There are other ways to cover the costs of long-term care. As US News points out, you can pay for long-term care using a health savings account (HSA). After the age of 65, you can use HSA distributions free of any tax penalty. Veterans can receive assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Cashing in a life insurance policy is another option for covering expenses related to long-term care. Evaluate your circumstances for your best option.

Your Future Matters

Statistically speaking, chances are good you or your loved one will require long-term care. Establish a plan should the need arise. Knowing how you will pay for long-term care means enjoying peace of mind about your future.