If you have kids in high school or college, you are well aware that time flies. The fact is that regardless of your age, now is the time to plan for the future in case you need long-term care as you age. Today, it’s more critical than ever. Inside Dementia states that one in eight people over the age of 65 suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia. With longer lifespans and no cure for this disease, it’s time to consider preparing for the future.
Paying for Long-Term Care Costs
To start planning for your future long-term care costs, you’ll need to start by answering the following questions.
- How close are you to retirement?
- What are the savings and insurance programs available now to help pay for long-term care?
- How do you plan on paying for the costs of long-term care?
If you think you might need to reside in an assisted living facility, keep in mind that Medicare does not cover them. Options for this and other long-term funding include:
- Veterans benefits, if this applies to you.
- Local non-profit organizations.
- Federal assisted living grants.
- Medicaid in over 40 states, if you have a low enough income.
If none of these apply, you can buy long-term care insurance to pay for your needs. While it can be costly in some cases, the sooner you buy, the more affordable it is; learn more at AARP.
Additional resources can be found here on www.ltcnews.com.
You can also set yourself up to age in place. This is a good option if you are in good health. Take steps to do so by making better choices, including:
- Starting a fitness routine.
- Eating a balanced diet.
- Seeing your doctor regularly.
- Reducing stress.
- Improving your sleep hygiene.
How to Prepare to Age in Place
You can also start preparing your home for aging in place. That will come in handy for your future, and you'll be able to save on long-term care costs. Modifications you can make now include:
- Installing railings on both sides of the stairs.
- Using automatic night lights.
- Removing any loose carpeting or rugs.
- Installing grab bars in the shower or bath.
- Using non-slip covers in slippery areas.
Perhaps a new home that meets these future needs might work.
Assessing Your Future Needs Now
Before you start panicking, though, it’s important to know that your future health is dependent on several things. You can take steps to assess your possibility of contracting certain conditions.
The Odds of Health Issues Due to Aging
First, read this list of 10 common chronic health concerns for seniors. If you have any of the conditions in your family, you may have a genetic risk to get them yourself. You can get tested for some of these issues, but be careful: Test results can impact your ability to get insurance in the future.
Other things that can affect your odds of getting a chronic illness or serious health issue include:
- Your gender: Women are more likely than men to get Alzheimer’s disease.
- Your health and lifestyle choices: If you are out of shape, have a poor diet, smoke, or abuse substances, you can reduce your odds of a healthy future. There are other, less obvious issues that can lead to life-threatening illnesses as well. Learn what they are at Verywell Mind.
- Risk of injury: You also may require future care if you have problems with your joints or bones now. Take a bone density test and consider if you’ve had a prior injury, such as a bone fracture or torn ACL. These can have an impact on your mobility in the future.
- Obesity: Obesity can shorten your lifespan two to four years and up to a decade for those who are very obese. This may be just one of many factors that can add up to a shorter lifespan, but it’s one you may be able to control. Speak to your doctor right away about reducing this risk factor.
It’s never too soon to assess and plan for your future long-term care needs. Start working toward a healthy, long life now.
About the Author
June is the co-creator of Rise Up for Caregivers, which offers support for family members and friends who have taken on the responsibility of caring for their loved ones. She is the author of the upcoming book, The Complete Guide to Caregiving: A Daily Companion for New Senior Caregivers.
Contributor since November 15th, 2018
The time to prepare for the costs and burdens of aging is when we are younger and still enjoy good health. Most people want to avoid a family crisis when they get older. Few would want to burden their adult children when better options are available.
For anyone with savings, a Long-Term Care Insurance policy can be an affordable solution. LTC Insurance is custom designed so you and a specialist can determine the appropriate amount of benefits based on your budget and your needs.
Most Long-Term Care Insurance claims are for in-home care, and most claims start at home. In 2021 the top insurance companies paid over $12.3 Billion in Long-Term Care Insurance benefits.
Keep in mind; however, you cannot buy a policy when you need it as these policies are medically underwritten. Don't assume you cannot qualify. Seek the help of a qualified specialist who works with the top companies to help match you with the best company. Underwriting criteria, and premiums, vary dramatically between insurance companies.
Most people obtain Long-Term Care Insurance coverage in their 50s.
Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities
If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.
Take a moment and read -
Get Expert Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim
LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with your Long-Term Care Insurance policy.
You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
Planning Tools and Resources on LTC NEWS
You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis.
To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
- The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
- Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
- A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
- The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Seek Professional Guidance
Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums do vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.
Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.
A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
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