Long Term Care Planning
For most of us it just makes good sense to have plans in place to address the high costs associated with long term care.
Planning ahead for long term care is important because statistics show there is a 70% chance you will need long term care services if you live beyond the age of 65; and the likelihood of needing long term care increases as you age.
You may wish to consider planning for long term care if it is important for you to:
"You don't wish to be a burden"
Long term care planning means less emotional and financial stress on you and your family. It can provide a way to involve your family in long term care decisions without depending on them to bear the entire long term care burden alone.
"You want to protect your nest egg"
Long term care planning is important because the cost of long term care services often exceeds what you can afford to pay from your income and other investments. By planning for long term care, you may be able to save your retirement assets and income for uses other than long term care, including preserving the quality of life for your spouse or your partner. With long term care planning, there is a greater likelihood of being able to leave an estate to your heirs, because you are less likely to use up your nest egg paying for your long term care.
"You want to stay at home"
Long term care planning ensures your greater independence should you need care. Your choices for receiving long term care outside of a nursing facility and being able to stay at home or receive community-based long term care services are greater if you plan ahead.
There are many reasons why people do not plan ahead for long term care.
First of all, it is natural for you to try not to think about the fact that you are getting older. You may not like to think about aging and one day you might need to be dependent on someone for assistance.
Also, you may not understand how expensive long term care is today and the difficulty of qualifying for government assistance such as Medicaid to pay for long term care services. Many consumer-related long term care surveys illustrate that it might be common for you to mistakenly believe that your health insurance or Medicare might pay for your long term care.
Lastly, your family may find it difficult to raise important issues such as long term care planning with you. If you have children, they may be afraid of discussing long term care with you because they may be afraid of giving you the impression that they will not be there for you should your need for long term care arise. You may not wish to discuss long term care with your children because you may wish to keep your finances private from your children or you may not wish to make your children uncomfortable.
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