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Why Long-term Care Planning Should Be on Your Short List

group of seniors dining in an assisted living community

According to the AARP, over half of people over 65 will need long-term care. Seniors are living longer, many with chronic medical conditions and will need care assistance with activities of daily living to maintain a safe and healthy living environment. The majority of Americans wish to age in place in their own home with the second most popular choice being a relocation into an assisted living community. Many seniors and their families are unaware that Medicare does not fund home care services or assisted living care. They also do not have realistic estimates on the costs of care. According to insurance company Genworth Financial, the median annual cost of home health aide care was close to $50,000/year. Long-term care insurance policies provide coverage for home care and assisted living care, but the newer policies available for purchase are much more expensive and have less generous coverage benefits than their previous counterparts. The best long-term policy deals available now are for healthier, younger buyers. This reinforces the tenet that strategic planning in middle age for the senior years ahead is highly advisable. Here are some other key long-term planning tips:

  • Invest in your own health and well-being by making healthy lifestyle choices to minimize the deleterious effects of chronic diseases.
  • Project ahead where you may want to live your later years and research the costs of care options of the geographic location.
  • Look ahead and plan so that your future living environment has barrier-free design access.
  • Set realistic long-term care goals and have a financial plan for your aging lifestyle choices, just as you plan for a wedding or graduation. Plan now for how you will live later in life.
  • Communicate your plan with family members, so that there is agreement and clarity on the goals.
  • Speak with a trusted financial advisor and aging life care professional to get insight and education on putting together a realistic and executable plan.

For more insights on this topic, please take a look at a recent CNBC.com article, which HealthSense contributed to.

Categories: Senior Health