“Hope for the Best”: The Worst Way to Face Long Term Care

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It’s true that your chances of needing long term care are 0% or 100%. Though this is the case, you can’t just simply hope that you’ll fall under the 0% category and stay healthy all your life. Though this is a possibility, it is very far-fetched as the majority will need long term care at some point. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that 7 out of 10 65-year-olds will need long term care. More so, estimates show that even those in the younger age group would also need it. 40% of individuals between the age of 18 and 64 will require it, as well.

Meanwhile, others seem to underestimate the cost of long term care and think that their retirement savings will be able to handle this need in the future. Truth is, retirement nest eggs are easily depleted because of long term care expenses. According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, the annual median cost of staying in a nursing home has increased by 24% in just a span of 5 years. Meanwhile, rates of other care facilities may have not increased by that much; yet, they are not getting any lower also.

Instead of just hoping that it won’t happen to you, here are ways on how you can strategize for long term care:

Stay healthy.

Exert effort in promoting your well-being. Eat the right kind of food, exercise regularly, and get enough hours of sleep. Staying healthy doesn’t eliminate your risk completely, but it lessens your chances of needing care and delays your need for it.

Prepare financially.

Cost of care services is not cheap; therefore, this should be integrated in your financial planning. You could set up a separate account that is solely intended for long term care or save your home’s equity for long term care expenses in the future. You can strategize in any way you want. What’s important is to be prepared for long term care financially.

Buy long term care insurance.

Long term care insurance is a policy that’s specifically designed to offer financial protection against long term care expenses. It helps you leave a legacy to your family and secure your quality of life, especially in the years ahead. Long term care insurance is a financial planning tool that you should definitely consider. With this in place you’ll be assured that long term care will not the kind of life you have always envisioned.

Talk to your family.

Include them in your planning. This way, you can ask them how much care they are willing to provide should you need it. Not only will you know how much you can expect from them, you’ll also determine the best strategy for long term care. More so, talking to your loved ones about long term care will make them aware of your requests and preferences in terms of health care services. If the worst happens and you can no longer speak for yourself, you’ll be assured that your wishes will be enacted.

You can always say, “I will not need long term care.” Unfortunately, that’s not for you to decide. Life sometimes hurls unexpected things at us like situations that may require long term care. Though this is the case, it’s still important to be prepared and not simply hope for the best.

 

Sources:

http://longtermcare.gov/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_care

http://www.ltcoptions.com/hope-best-worst-way-face-long-term-care/

http://www.longtermcarelink.net/

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