As the years go by and we get closer and closer to our golden years, we tend to forget that we may need to have some form of long-term care once we get to that period in our lives. The truth is that about 70 percent of people will need long-term care. One way to avoid this extra cost during retirement is to make sure we are taking care of ourselves now. However, sometimes long-term care is needed regardless to accomplish everyday activities while we are in our retirement years. While you plan for your retirement with your retirement advisor you should consider the potential situation of long-term care, to make sure you have the funds for it. To better prepare yourself should this day come, here are some steps to take in your planning process.
Knowledge is power and this applies to most aspects of life, and especially so with retirement planning. The more you know about retirement and all of its variables the better you can plan and have a successful retirement. With the help of a retirement advisor to help with your planning, you can learn about the many options for long-term care and which will be a good fit for you. Learn about the different options such as assisted living, home health services, independent living, adult day care, and hospice to understand what each option have to offer.
Get To Know What’s In Your Area
After you educate yourself on different aspects of long-term care, you should see the types of facilities that are available to you in your area. Reach out to state agencies on health or aging to find lists of long-term care providers around the area. Whether you decide to look through a state or federal agency, you will be able to look up different providers for the type of care you think you will need in your golden years. One thing to caution is to not solely rely on the internet or online reviews when choosing a provider. Once you have narrowed down your search, you will want to take a tour of the facility to learn more about what they can provide.
Start Planning For The Cost
Having long-term care will add on an additional cost that you will have to save for while planning for your retirement. These costs will vary depending on the facility you choose and the types of care they provide as well as what you will need in your golden years. This is where taking a tour of the facility is important as you can get concrete prices, billing practices, and if they accept assistance programs. One of the biggest misconceptions is that Medicare pays for long-term care but it sadly does not. Medicare will help pay for a short stay in skilled nursing homes or hospice care providers but not for care with assistance with daily activities (such as dressing and eating). If you have Medicaid instead then it will cover for long-term care. However, Medicaid programs themselves, as well as the eligibility for services, will vary from state to state.
Make A Plan
After learning about and visiting potential facilities, it is finally time to start advance care planning. With long-term care plan, you can discuss values and goals with loved ones and physicians. With this type of planning, you can set up advance directives. These are written instructions that are intended to reflect patient wishes for health care to guide medical decision-making in the event that a patient is unable to speak for themselves. These directives should be filed with the nursing center or living facility that you choose if you decide you need long-term care.
Communicate Your Medical Wishes
While planning for retirement and especially long-term care, you will need to disclose medical information to your loved ones. This will ensure there is no confusions, disagreements, or questions in the event you may not be able to make any medical decisions. This is where your advance directives will also come in handy as not only can you specify your medical needs but also what to do if the preferred long-term care provider can no longer take you. Whether it is a financial reason or no space to have you, your loved ones will need to know the next action to take.
If you have more questions about long-term care, be sure to contact us!