When we think about the future, we tend to think of the exciting stuff: celebrations with family and exciting travels should factor into your retirement plans. However, if you are preparing for retirement, there are some good reasons you should think about long-term care. The costs of long-term care can be surprising, especially when those costs sneak up on you. You can give yourself peace of mind, by using these tips to plan ahead for long-term care.
When Thinking About Costs
Plan Ahead for Long-Term Care by Preparing Your Finances
The biggest shock to most people isn’t that they need long-term care for themselves or someone they love. What really surprises most folks are the true costs of care. Medicare, which is invaluable for seniors, will not over any long-term care costs. As such, it’s usually up to individuals and families to foot the bill for long-term care. Do some research now to determine the average costs of various kinds of long-term care. Many families can save money by opting for seniors services, such as the ones on this list from HomeAdvisor, which negate the need for a nursing home or assisted living facility. Care provided in adult day care centers or by home health aides tend to be much less expensive than more concentrated care options, so it may be easier to find ways to pay for the care needed.
Figure Out Which Insurance Options Are Right for You
If you plan ahead for long-term care, you will have many more options for funding necessary care. You can adjust your retirement savings or look into using the equity in your home, but another reason to plan ahead is that you can save money on long-term care insurance. Unlike standard healthcare policies, long-term care coverage is designed to cover day-to-day tasks typically associated with long-term care. Premiums tend to be significantly less when you are younger, so getting coverage will take less out of your wallet now while providing more coverage in the future. Some people also opt to use their life insurance to finance care costs, but there are some risks to selling your life insurance for cash. Your best bet is to speak with a licensed insurance agent to determine which policies will cover your retirement plans.
When Thinking About Care
Determine Your Likelihood of Needing Long-Term Care
This is a tough step because according to statistics, but over half of seniors will need some sort of care at some point in their lives. So, you most likely will need care during retirement, but how much care you need will depend on several key factors. Family history can play a huge role in determining your care needs in the future, especially if that history puts you at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. These debilitating illnesses can require more focused care in a skilled nursing home and will come with higher care costs. For many long-term care needs, however, you may be able to plan for temporary assistance or less costly forms of care. If you live near family members, you could also ask your loved ones for assistance.
Reduce Long-Term Care Needs with Healthy Lifestyle Choices
You can’t control your family history, and you can’t completely control your future need for care. However, what you can do is take steps to reduce the level of care you will someday need. Making better lifestyle choices can go a long way in reducing your lessening your overall odds for needing a nursing home or other concentrated forms of care. You can get enough exercise in order to boost your overall health and decrease your risk of falls, and you can make better choices when it comes to the foods you eat. In addition to reducing your risk for care, healthy habits will also ensure your retirement years are happier overall.
Don’t spend your golden years worrying about how to pay for long-term care. Instead, plan ahead for long-term care now so you can put your worries aside and look forward to really enjoying your retirement!
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