Will You Protect Your Assets When you Need Long-Term Care?

While most seniors prefer not to think about it, there is more of a chance of needing long-term care services in your lifetime than having a car accident.  The truth is that 70% of seniors over 65 (1 in 1.4) will need long-term care in their lifetime.  This is compared to the 2% (1 in 52) chance of having a car accident sometime in your life.

Most seniors shudder at the thought of needing long-term care services.  They envision a nursing home with nothing to do and no one comes to visit.  But long-term care is more than a nursing home.  Long-term care includes many services including home health care, assisted living, and adult day care.

Facts versus Myths of Long-Term Care

Besides confusion about the type of settings, the following myths exist about long-term care needs and services.

Myth:  I don’t need to plan for long-term care

The fact is that everyone has a long-term care plan.  You’ll either self-fund it with your assets such as savings or retirement funds, or you’ll follow the government plan of using Medicaid.  The challenge with both of these plans is that you might have to scale down your standard of living when you need long-term care.

Myth:  My health insurance will cover the cost of my long-term care.

The fact is that health insurance covers medical related costs of long-term care.  These costs include doctor visits, medications, etc.  A separate long-term care insurance plan is needed to cover more services such as home health care, respite care, custodial care and other help with activities of daily living.

Myth:  My family will take care of me.

While your family may agree to take care of you as you age, many seniors prefer to stay independent or Long-term care imageavoid family caregivers.  The typical unpaid family caregiver is 49, female, usually the oldest daughter, who works full-time and has her own family.  In fact, according to the Society of Certified Senior Advisors, 83% of relatives are unpaid caregivers.  Care giving takes an emotional, physical, and financial toll on everyone and can lead to burnout and depression.

Long-term care insurance is expensive.

The fact is that long-term care is expensive, not the insurance to cover it.  Current cost of a private nursing home for one year is $94, 740 according to GenworthThe average stay is five years or more costing nearly $475,000.   And costs are expected to rise each year.

Conclusion

Covering your long-term care needs takes a plan.  You want to start planning early, especially before you need it.  There are many options to cover the cost of long-term care services.  You can start your planning process by learning more about long-term care at long-term care.gov.

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