Have You Addressed Long-Term Care Costs?

At one time or another, roughly half of the citizens living in the United States will have to obtain high levels of services and support for long-term care after the age of 65. Such support will go toward helping them to have a quality life by way of enjoying everyday activities with as much freedom as possible. This is why it is so important to think about retirement and planning for all of the health care costs associated with your golden years.

Understanding Long-Term Care

Many people wonder who would be taking care of them should something happen later on in life, as nobody wants to be a burden. What long-term care involves is supervision or assistance that you might need whenever you are not able to take on some of the more everyday activities involved in daily living. Such activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Eating
  • Cooking
  • Bathing
  • Continence
  • Toileting
  • Dressing
  • Getting in and out of bed

For most patients, the need for any assistance or long-term care could result from:

  • Advanced aging
  • Accidents
  • Stroke
  • Illness
  • Other chronic conditions

Providing services for long-term care can be expensive, exhausting and time-consuming, so you need to think about protecting your family and gathering all of the information that you can in advance. If you are worried about the costs associated with long-term care, you have options available to you in the form of long-term care insurance.

Different Types Of Long-Term Care

There are some types of care available, ranging from in-home services to constant care at a dedicated facility. Such care refers to whatever services you may need because of cognitive impairments and any other factors. Inside your home, companions or personal care assistants can be there to help with cooking, cleaning, running errands, self-care and even to sit down with you to watch a program on television or play a game. There are also home health aids that offer more involved personal care like dressing or bathing, while nurses will be available to help with medications, support IVs, and complex health conditions.

Paying For Long-Term Care

While you are going through retirement planning, you may want to look at the various health care costs that may come your way. There are different funding options that you can choose from, and it may be wise prepare in advance so that you are never forced into a decision that may be hasty, or end up with limited choices.

  1. Private/Family Support – You could look to loved ones or family to offer long-term care. However, you need to think about the various financial, physical and geographic obstacles that will be put in front of you and your family.
  2. Self-Funding – Even if you have decades of savings, paying for such long-term care can be quite a hit to your finances. You also run the risk of not being able to save quite enough money to fully cover the expenses that will come about.
  3. Public Programs – Medicare is available to help you pay for some of the expenses that you may come across. Many people believe that this will cover all of their needs for the long haul, yet Medicare is not going to pay for all of the services involved with chronic conditions that may need ongoing care.
  4. Long-Term Care Insurance – These insurance programs will give you options to have a voice regarding the care that you receive. When you can plan far enough in advance, these insurance programs can be a nice way to give you peace of mind and flexibility.

While it may not seem as though you have to address health care costs while planning for retirement, doing so may help to take the burden off of you in the future.

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