Statistics show that most Americans are in denial about senior care and their future needs. Roughly 70% of Americans 65 and older will require some type of long-term care. But few do enough or anything at all to plan for this. This is critical, with assisted living costs increasing faster than the pace of inflation. For those who are looking to move into a private-pay assisted living community, the median cost of rent and care in the U.S. is about $50,000 a year.
Finding the money to support senior care needs is difficult, but not impossible. Start with the following:
Inventory and Find Ways to Maximize Assets. Consider the value of your assets, like your home and your savings, then calculate your anticipated senior care costs. This includes things like the cost of living with inflation, medical expenses associated with illnesses you may have and the costs of different types of care—like memory care, home care, nursing care, assisted living and long-term care communities and other family circumstances.
Look at Other Factors Concerning Senior Care. Smart strategies include financial planning, but also legal planning—like a will, powers of attorney, and a living trust to protect yourself and your family, and emotional planning, which includes leaving a legacy for your family or managing family dynamics.
Conduct Research. There’s plenty of misinformation about senior care, but education can help eliminate misconceptions. The best source is a knowledgeable estate planning and elder law attorney. Some people think that lawyers just draft documents. However, the documents are really just part of the legal service. There’s also the time, effort, and advice that goes into the document, working to address an individual’s unique circumstances.
Work with Professionals Who Can Provide Support. When it comes to senior care, you’ll need advice from several professionals, such as your family doctor, your financial advisor, an insurance agent or broker and your attorney. You may also work with a geriatric social worker.
Share with Your Family. Communicate your plans with your family to be certain that your wishes are understood and to help alleviate concerns your family may have regarding your care.
Whether you are looking out for yourself or your parents, planning and expert advice is crucial to ensure that you can afford the costs of senior care.
Reference: HomeCare (July 2017) “5 Ways to Sort Through Long-term Care Planning”