As we get older, we hit more and more life milestones. Changing careers, starting a family, buying a home, retiring and having grandchildren are all exciting events that come with aging. And with all the joys that life has to offer, there are also challenges and health issues. While you do not like to think about these things, aging is a reality that everyone must face. As such, it is important that you consider the possibility of medical care needed later in life.
Understanding long-term care planning
While medical professionals can help us better understand our current health, they cannot predict what the future will hold and how our bodies will react to the aging process. When mental and physical health declines, it can be difficult to care for yourself. Thus, it is important to establish how you would like to be cared for and where the funds to pay for this care will come from.
Much like estate planning helps protect your assets and property following your death, long-term care planning protects you when it comes to the medical care you will receive if long-term care is needed. Furthermore, it also protects your assets and accounts from being drained when it comes to funding this type of care.
Establishing a long-term care plan
The first step in establishing a long-term care plan is to determine the type of care you will want and need. This often includes options such as nursing home care, having a visiting nurse or having cooks, cleaners or homemakers assist with their everyday care.
Next, it needs to be determined how the type of care you choose will be paid for. If your health insurance doesn’t cover the costs and you do not have enough retirement savings to pay these bills, then long-term care insurance might be the best option. However, it is important to consider the cost of the premium, as it could end up being more expensive than the entirety of care required.
Finally, it is important to designate a person to make decisions for you if you can no longer do so. A power of attorney can designate a family member or trusted friend to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf.
Long-term care planning may seem stressful, overwhelming and complicated, and it can be. Nonetheless, it is a beneficial step to take, and legal professionals can help guide you through the process to establish a plan that is right for you.