Brian M. Johnson, MBA, CLTC
When it comes to where and how you live, and what you do with your money, you want the freedom of choice and confidence that you’re making the right decisions.
The same is true with your long-term care strategy, helping you set the stage for the future and the legacy you have planned.
Long-term care is quite simply assistance with simple everyday tasks, even as simple as eating or getting dressed. The need for care could arise from an accident, illness, cognitive impairment, or the aging process. You may never need it.
But, the best time to start thinking about it is before the need arises and while you’re still able to take control. Many Americans work hard, save diligently for retirement, yet fail to address the single biggest risk to their portfolio and families: extended healthcare.
When it comes to long-term care, do not be swayed by common misconceptions such as:
• “It won’t happen to me.”
People unrealistically downplay their personal risk. Seventy-nine percent of people put off discussions about long-term care, but 98 percent of financial professionals say they have clients who have needed it. In fact, being healthy presents even a higher risk of needing long-term care services than someone who is managing chronic a condition.
• “Medicare or Medicaid will cover me.”
If qualified, Medicare will likely be insufficient for long-term care needs and Medicaid does not account for your choices or preferences, and one must financially qualify for benefits.
• “That’s what my savings are for.”
Many Americans significantly underestimate long-term care costs. Home care, assisted living and nursing care can run between $40,000-$150,000 per year in today’s dollars.
• “My family will take care of me.”