Long-term care can drain your assets significantly if you do not prepare.
As people age, their bodies become more fragile.
Eventually, they require assistance from others.
For some, their health status may be strong enough to simply move in with a loved one who has few responsibilities.
Even with loved ones willing and capable of providing care, this may not be an option for those with intense cognitive decline.
According to a recent The Street article titled “Long-Term Care: Ready or Not, Here it Comes,” it is best to prepare financially and logistically for long-term care.
Long-term care is important for those unable to perform at least two activities of daily living.
What are activities of daily living?
These measure ability to live independently and include eating, dressing, bathing and hygiene, grooming, toileting and continuance, and mobility.
Should you be unable to perform at least two of these on your own, you may need alternative living arrangements, paid home care, or admission to a hospital or nursing home.
The Cost of Long-Term Care.
Because Americans are tending to live longer, you may require long-term care for quite a few years.
You can estimate how long you might living using the Social Security Administration on the longevity visualizer.
Those living longer often live with chronic health issues for many of those years.
The costs of care can be expensive.
According to Genworth Financial reports the national median price for a private room in a nursing home facility is more than $105,000 per year.
Because of the demand predicted for the baby boomer generation, these costs are expected to double in the next 20 years.
Long-Term Care Insurance.
When it comes to preparing financially for future costs, insurance can be helpful.
Although the premiums have been raised by many insurers and benefits limited, long-term care insurance is still a good option for preparing for expenses.
One popular option is the hybrid long-term care insurance policy.
This combines life insurance and long-term care coverage.
These policies can be purchase with a single large payment or a payment plan.
Although the premiums can be about two or three times greater than those of traditional polices, your loved ones will receive a life insurance death benefit if you die before requiring long-term care.
Coverage for long-term care would be paid through the policy to reflect your elimination period, daily benefit, term, and total cap.
Whatever is used to pay for your home or residential care would be deducted from your death benefit.
Veterans have additional options available to those who qualify.
If one is approved, benefits can be paid retroactively to the date you applied.
If you do not have long-term care insurance, you will likely be paying for care yourself.
You should list all pensions, personal savings, IRAs, 401(k)s, investments, and assets you are able to borrow against.
These will used to pay for your required care as you age.
Medicare versus Medicaid.
If you think Medicare will cover long-term care costs, you are mistaken.
It will only cover a short period of rehabilitation after one has been hospitalized.
For those without sufficient income or with insufficient assets to pay the bills, the federal government will pay through Medicaid.
Preparing in advance for long-term care will benefit both you and your loved ones.
Reference: The Street (Nov. 10, 2021) “Long-Term Care: Ready or Not, Here it Comes”