No one wants to consider spending their final years living in a nursing home or depending on the help of others to live at home, but most Americans will need long-term care at some point in their lives. .
Planning for long-term care needs is crucial for financial security and peace of mind.
Long-term care is an umbrella term for services and supports designed to help people live independently on a daily basis, such as eating, bathing and dressing, either in a care facility or at home. A common misconception is that health insurance, medicare, or disability insurance covers these services, but it doesn’t.
Medicaid covers long-term care services, but you only qualify if your income and assets do not exceed levels set by your state. You can purchase long-term care insurance, annuities, or other hybrid or blended products. The other option is to pay it with savings, pensions or investment income.
Paying for long-term care can be one of the biggest financial investments a person or their family will make.
To start the planning process, here are some important steps:
- Think about your ultimate goals for where you want to live and how you will receive care, if you need it.
- Consider your unique needs, such as risk factors for long-term care. Risk factors include age, gender, disability, health status and living conditions.
- Understand the range of long-term care services and supports, including home care, adult day care, assisted living and retirement homes.
- Research the costs of long-term care services in your community.
- Determine what financial resources you have to cover long-term care and close any funding gaps before you need them.
The best time to plan is when you are healthy and have time to plan. The sooner the better, just like with financial planning for retirement. Planning for long-term care needs is not just about you. This is truly a family plan, as it also impacts the lives of those who care about you.
For more information about long-term care, contact Christina Rittenbach, Stutsman County Extension Officer, at (701) 252-9030 or [email protected]