Long-Term Care Corner

The need for long term care planning in your retirement strategy

You build retirement strategies so you can live the way you want in retirement.  By including long term care in your retirement strategy you have the opportunity to help protect your assets and maintain the financial freedom you've worked so hard for.  Wading through the many options when choosing how to fund long term care services is what we are here for. 

According to an article by the AARP, Beyond 50.03: A Report to the Nation on Independent Living and Disability, “the lifetime probability of becoming disabled in at least two activities of daily living or of being cognitively impaired is 68% for people age 65 and older.”  Another publication by AARP, Perceptions of Long-term Care and the Economic Recession found that “one in four people age 45 and over are not at all prepared financially if they suddenly required long-term care for an indefinite period of time.”  Rather than looking at these as sobering statistics, we see a wonderful opportunity to look at how long term care planning can ease the financial burden by covering some or all of the costs of long term care.

While considering long term care planning in your retirement strategy there are two questions to consider

  1. What is my written plan?

At some point you may need long term care and just like a written financial plan, you should begin to write down what long term care would look like for you.  Would you like to receive care at home or in a facility?  Who would you like to care for you?  Will family members be close by or will you be receiving care from an outside service?  These questions help determine what kind of long term coverage would best suit your circumstances and desires.

  1. How will I pay for this care?

Many people think the government will pay for long term care expenses. However, Medicare and Medicaid have limitations on eligibility and income. Generally speaking, Medicare covers skilled nursing home care only AFTER a hospital stay of at least three days and its coverage for other long term care services is very limited.  Medicaid does contribute towards long term care but REQUIRES recipients to use their income to pay and most of their assets to qualify.  Using your retirement savings to pay for long term care isn't what most of us had in mind.  But, the good news is there may be options that can leave your retirement savings intact for what you've saved it for, retirement!

So, what are you options?

Some of the options available for long term care are long term care insurance, linked benefits (insurance with additional long term care benefits), employer sponsored long term care benefits, public programs, private/family support, and self-funding.  

First, consider speaking with your family.  Long term care can have a long lasting impact on you and your family.  Discuss your written plan for long term care and how you would like to pay for the expenses. 

Second, come speak with us!  We will look at your overall retirement picture and work together to create a plan to pay for the expenses of long term care that best meets your written goals.  It could include insurance and public programs, family support, self-funding or a combination of these.  The most important part is to start the discussion.  Call us today at 503-566-7266 and let's sit down and discuss in detail your concerns and the options available to you and your family.    

Helpful LTC Resources:

Options in Planning for Long-Term Care Needs 

Planning for Long-Term Care Expense 

Helpful Social Security Resources

Social Security - Questions and Answers

Social Security Option for Spouses, Widows and Ex-Spouses

Re-Think Social Security: Are You Minimizing the Value of Your Social Security Benefits?

Social Security Optimizer - Quick Start Guide