If you, your parents, or your grandparents are 65-years or older, how many times have you or they discussed the threat of long-term care with a professional?
If you own a vehicle, do you worry about an accident and want to protect yourself? Of course! And so, you carry car insurance. The average motorist files a claim with his/her car insurance once every 17.9 years--rather small odds.
But you still carry that car insurance.
If you own a home, are you worried about flood, hail, fire, or wind damage? Sure, you are! Which is why you have homeowners' insurance, right? The likelihood of filing a claim with your homeowners' insurance is about 5% in any given year--again, rather small odds.
But you still carry that homeowners' policy.
Now, imagine I told you the likelihood of needing to utilize your homeowners' policy for a claim increased from a 5% chance you'd have damage, all the way up to a 70% chance you'd have damage. Think about that. 7 out of 10 of those reading this article are going to see their homes burnt to the ground or blown away in a tornado in this hypothetical situation.
With odds like that, there's no question you would want to prepare yourself for the potential oncoming threat, right???
Anyone who reaches age 65 has a 70% chance of needing some form of long-term care in his or her lifetime. And around here, nursing home costs can exceed $150,000 PER YEAR.
So, how comfortable are you with your plan for this very present risk breathing down your neck?
Does your plan address these potential risks?
Are you sure?
Can you point out the exact portions of your plan that cover these concerns?
Has this discussion been had with your professional team?
If you aren't expressly aware that your plan addresses the risks associated with long-term care costs, and how you are going to pay for them, then, more likely than not, your plan is to just pay out of your own pocket and hope you don't live that long while paying those expensive costs!
And what good is a plan, even if it addresses long-term care, if the end result is you are going to have spent out of your own pocket for those costs? The whole purpose behind this plan should be to shift the burden off your own shoulders and stop your spenddown as quickly as possible, or protect what you worked so hard for all these years. After all, it's easy for your financial advisor or attorney or insurance agent to tell you, "It's not so bad," even as you are writing a $12,000 check month after month for that care! That professional you've relied on isn't the one writing the check. You are.
You shouldn't have to be left with that bleak outlook for your golden years, though! There are conversations that can be had, and professionals who can help you to protect the assets you spent a lifetime accumulating. Don't put your head in the sand and get caught flat footed if you end up with this kind of health crisis.
Elder law attorneys advocate to help you create a plan to preserve what you worked your whole life for. Proactive planning is an avenue we help you explore so that if you do ever need long-term care, not everything you own is exposed to being spent down. There is a 5-year lookback period to be mindful of though, so don't let procrastination set in and put off coming up with your own plan. Now is the time to act.
If you have ever worried about future health problems that could lead to expensive care or might impoverish your spouse; or, even if this is the first time you've seen this concern highlighted in such an overt way and a light bulb just went off in your head, give our office a call.
You don't know what you don't know. And if you don't know how massive of a risk you are facing--that you are only one bad fall and broken hip away from spending time in need of long-term care--then you will have no idea where to turn or what to do when that train barrels down on you. Don't put your family in that predicament. Take control of your own plan and take us up on our complimentary consultation to discuss how we can help you plan for the peace of mind of knowing you and your family head into retirement with eyes wide open.