Will you be prepared if your ability to care for yourself diminishes? The prospect of long-term care is an important consideration for anyone planning an upcoming retirement.
There are many reasons long-term care becomes necessary. Illness, restricted mobility, cognitive decline and increased risk of injury are common challenges that come with aging and can make daily functioning difficult.
When it becomes a struggle to complete basic activities of daily living, such as preparing meals, bathing or getting dressed, you’ll need ongoing assistance that could have considerable cost. If you haven’t planned ahead for this possibility, it could result in severe financial strain or an inability to acquire the level of care you’d prefer.
Considering the potential need for long-term care is an essential part of any successful retirement planning strategy. Don’t let these three common misconceptions about long-term care prevent you from being prepared.
Myth #1: My chances of needing long-term care are small.
If you think your odds of needing long-term care are relatively low, think again. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of Americans age 65 and older will require long-term care at some point in their lifetime.1
Why is that number so high? One simple reason is that people are living longer than ever, thanks to advances in modern medicine. However, this also means a greater number of people are going to experience the declining health effects that are naturally likely to arise as we age. As a result, the need for long-term care is increasingly more common.
The reality is, for the majority of Americans, the need for long-term care isn’t just a possibility—it’s a probability. That’s why it’s smart to start planning now.
Myth #2: Medicare will cover the costs of long-term care.
Medicare is not a long-term care insurer and typically does not cover the costs of long-term care. While it’s true there may be a few unique instances in which Medicare will help pay for long-term care, these are usually related to hospitalizations for specific issues. Even then, you may be only partially covered. Or your coverage may last a few months, but after that you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
You may find yourself facing a significant financial burden if you assume all your health care expenses will be covered under Medicare. There is no guarantee.
Myth #3: My family can always provide the care I need.
No matter how willing your family may be to help, there are many situations in which providing your care may be a serious strain or may not even be possible.
It’s hard work caring for someone who is immobile or who can’t bathe or eat without assistance. It requires a significant time commitment and may place enormous stress on your loved ones as they try to juggle their other responsibilities in life. You may need care that your family is physically or financially incapable of giving.
Having a plan in place can help ensure your family never has to make difficult sacrifices or painful choices to provide you with the care you need.
Thankfully, you have a number of options available if you start planning ahead now. Contact us at Carstens Financial Group. We can help you develop a plan for long-term care and other retirement risks.
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