It’s human nature to avoid creating an official plan for your future. But as you approach your golden years, having a plan in place becomes more essential so your family knows what to do if and when you need help caring for yourself.
If you live older than 65, chances are you’ll eventually need some long-term care. That’s why Elder Care Alliance is so passionate about long-term care planning. One day, you and your family will be grateful you took the time to create a detailed plan so they don’t have to make so many hard decisions without guidance. Here are four reasons why long-term planning is so important.
1. You (Literally) Can’t Afford to Wait
Many people rely on long-term care insurance to help cover the costs of their long-term care needs. But, as with any insurance policy, your overall health impacts your premiums. Suppose you secure your policy while in good health. You’ll pay lower premiums than if you wait until you’re in poor health to obtain your policy. Talk to an insurance agent as part of your long-term care planning process to learn about available insurance policies and premiums.
2. You Can’t Count on Insurance or the Government
Even with a good long-term care insurance policy, you should never rely entirely on the insurance or the government to help support you when you can no longer care for yourself. You should always have a detailed financial plan to help cover health costs you may face as you age.
Keep in mind that the government provides assistance for post-hospitalization home health care and nursing home rehabilitation to Medicare-eligible patients. However, it doesn’t cover custodial care or long-term chronic needs.
3. Long-Term Care Planning Helps You Avoid Becoming a Burden
Long-term care planning can help you avoid becoming a financial burden on your family. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, approximately 66% of U.S. home care is paid for solely by family members. Usually, the financial burden of this service is shouldered primarily by children and grandchildren.
You can avoid becoming a financial burden on your children by figuring out how much money to put away as part of your long-term care planning. Obtaining long-term care insurance while still able-bodied is another way to relieve the financial stress your long-term care places on your family’s shoulders.
4. You Gain Invaluable Peace of Mind
Perhaps the most critical benefit of taking care of your long-term planning needs now is the invaluable peace of mind it brings. You and your family will no longer have to wonder, “What if?” because you already have planned and accounted for the most likely scenarios.
If you live long enough, you’ll most likely require some long-term care. It could be home health care, assistance with daily activities, or the assistance of an unpaid caregiver such as a friend or family member. Creating a long-term care plan in advance can make it easier for you and your family members when it’s time to make tough decisions regarding your living arrangements and care needs.