How to Be Prepared for Long Term Care

How to Be Prepared for Long Term Care

Long_Term_Care_Preparation

Are you ready to talk about long-term care? If so, you’re ahead of two-thirds of American adults who have done little to no planning in this area. Therefore, we thought it was essential to understand how to be prepared for long-term care with probable cost increases in the future. Although you may not anticipate needing long-term care, preparation can save you thousands on monthly expenses overall. In addition, you can ensure that life for you and your spouse remains comfortable well into retirement with sufficient planning.

Our team from K2 Enterprises has put together the following guide to help you understand your options.

Tips for Anticipating Your Future Needs

First, look at your family’s health history and current lifestyle. These factors can let you know what your potential long-term care needs might look like and what preventative measures you can take to maintain your overall health.

Hereditary illness tends to come along as we reach our advancing years. For example, some common genetic conditions are heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. There is evidence that a complete family health history is a better predictor of future illness than genomic screening. On the other hand, precision pharmacogenetic screening, such as RxGenomix, can determine if your medications are correct. One-third of everyone taking pharmaceuticals is on the wrong medication. Above all, adjustments to your medication action plan based on your genetic pathways are likely. Try to learn as much as you can by talking to family members and your primary care physician. If you recognize specific ailments in your family history, get screened more often than average for early warning signs. Therefore, you can start treatment immediately upon diagnosis.

When it comes to lifestyle, every day habits can make you more susceptible to chronic conditions. For example, a poor diet high in trans fats and sugar contributes to high cholesterol and plaque buildup in your arteries. Even something as simple as watching too much TV can increase your chances of suffering from weight-related illness. Check out this article from The Healthy to learn about dangerous health habits and reverse them.

Illness is not the only thing that can create a need for long-term care. Falls are the leading cause of severe injuries for seniors, resulting in debilitating fractures and even brain injury. In addition, medical conditions such as dizziness or physical limitations can increase your risk of falling. Similarly, tripping hazards in the home and poor lighting often come into play. Aging.com recommends modifying your home environment to prevent falls, like installing a walk-in tub, non-slip flooring, and grab-bars throughout the house.

Tips for Developing a Financial Plan

Did you know that long-term care can cost over $100,000 per year? Without a financial plan, those kinds of expenses can quickly dry up anyone’s retirement savings. And if you decide to rely on family for assistance, you are putting their financial security at stake.

Selling your home to help you pay for care is a viable option if you plan to move into an assisted living facility or nursing home. Instead of putting that money into a savings account, you may want to buy a lifetime annuity to receive guaranteed income for the rest of your life. Check out the current prices for homes in your region and use a home sale proceeds calculator to determine if selling is a good idea. You may find that selling your home is not a wise financial decision.

However, the traditional way to fund care is through long-term care insurance. Although the cost of this insurance is typically much lower than the actual cost of care, it is still relatively expensive. And if you end up not using it, you will never see that money. Unused long-term care insurance is why many people choose hybrid life insurance. Similarly, you can look for long-term care policies that let you use the death benefit money to fund your care if you need it. Opening a Health Savings Account (HSA) may be a good option if you are already enrolled in a high-deductible health plan. An HSA allows you to withdraw tax-free money to pay medical expenses or long-term care insurance premiums.

Summary

We all want to age in perfect health, but sometimes it is just not realistic. As you work on being prepared for long-term care, you will discover additional needs. You will become involved in wills, trusts, durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) forms, and more that you need to consider while healthy. Long-term care can add immense value and financial protection to your life in your golden years. Start planning for your future today so you can maintain your comfort and independence without worrying about the financial burden of care.

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