Long-Term Care and You: How to Plan the Rest of Your Golden Years
You’re close to or already retired, and you’re ready to start enjoying the golden years of your life. However, before you book that trip to the Bahamas, you should sit down with your loved ones and start mapping out your future.
While you can’t always say exactly what the future has in store, you already know that you’re only getting older. You know that one day you will probably need to be cared for in some capacity, so why not start planning now? It can save you and your loved ones a lot of stress and anxiety by having a plan in place, so here are a few things you can do now to be ready for your future. There are many options for “aging in community,” so don’t overlook a situation that might just be perfect for you.
Anticipating the Need for Long-Term Care
Before doing anything official, you first need to consider a few things. What’s your current health like? Is there anything you’re doing now in your current lifestyle that could have ramifications in your future? As you work through these questions with your family and friends, it’s best that you remain honest with each other — and yourself.
Assessing Your Current Health
When considering your current health, you shouldn’t overlook underlying conditions that have a minimal impact on your life now. For instance, if you are already exhibiting signs of dementia, then you should consider how that may progress in the coming years. Some lifestyle choices, such as smoking or overeating, can also impact your quality of life in the future. If you have a long history of health problems, you should factor them into your plans and whether you’ll need long-term care.
Reducing the Likelihood of Illness and Injury
Planning for long-term care isn’t solely about anticipating the inevitable — it’s about taking control of your current situation to give you the best advantage later. If you like the home you’re living in now and are hoping to age in place, then you might consider making some home modifications now that can prevent injury later. Installing handrails, non-slip floors, access ramps, and grab bars are just a few ways you can make your home long-term care friendly.
If you intend to add features such as a walk-in tub, then you’ll need to enlist the help of professional plumbing experts. Search for “plumbers near me” and begin reading reviews for area plumbers. This way, you know you’re hiring someone who can handle the job.
You should also be proactive about your health in order to prevent the onset of illness. Stop destructive habits such as smoking and start taking your physical health seriously to give yourself an advantage in the future. Harvard Health points out as little as a half-hour per day of physical activity can improve your health down the road, and cutting fast food can be a boon to your waistline and your pocketbook.
Anticipating and Covering the Cost of Long-Term Care
Everyone’s financial situation is different going into retirement. Now is the time to sit down and assess your situation with your most trusted family members and advisors so that you can start making plans for the future.
What you make from a retirement fund alone may not be enough to cover the cost of long-term care. You may need to sell some personal belongings you no longer need or even liquidate your property to live out the rest of your life in comfort. Depending on your area, your home could fetch a high price, making it a viable option for securing your future care. A few calculations can tell you a lot about what you can expect financially.
If you need assistance with this aspect of the estate planning process, reach out to the Katje Law Group, which can provide guidance with these decisions.
Knowing Your Financial Options
As Senior Living notes, there are more options available to you than just a home sale and your retirement fund. There are various saving funds and insurance programs specifically geared toward seniors entering their golden years. If you’d rather not sell your home and downsize, you could alternatively sign up for a program that could help you pay for long-term care.
Planning ahead for yourself is the best way to ensure that you and your loved ones are healthy and happy down the road. While there are no guarantees as to what the future may hold, thinking ahead can take a lot of stress and worry off your mind right now and make your golden years the best of your life.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
Written By: Christopher Haymon