The "sandwich generation" are people caught between taking care of their own children while taking care of parents who need extended care. Are you prepared to deal with your future long-term care needs? There are several key tips to consider before retirement.
Clark Howard is a well-known radio host and consumer expert. Millions across the country hear his nationally syndicated Clark Howard Show. An article on his website discusses the need to plan for the impact long-term care will have on a family, especially when you are in the situation of having to take care of multiple generations – otherwise known as the sandwich generation.
The sandwich generation is a term used when you must take care of both your parents and your children. This situation leads to significant life changes for young families. Clark says if you're part of the "sandwich generation" caught between these obligations, he offers some important advice.
Consider an Affordable Long-Term Care Policy
If you are between ages 50 to 60, this is the prime age to buy Long-Term Care (LTC)Insurance. LTC Insurance is more than just care in a nursing home. Most LTC Insurance claims are paid for in-home care. Policies also cover adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, memory care facilities in addition to nursing home care.
According to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, the cost of paid care services can run over $100,000 a year for a nursing home. In-home care and other types of long-term care services are also expensive and can easily drain assets and adversely impact lifestyle and legacy.
Shopping for Long-Term Care Insurance can be simplified by seeking the help of an independent LTC specialist who can shop the top insurance companies and provide you with accurate quotes along with their professional recommendations. LTC NEWS can help find a specialist by clicking here.
Best Time to Purchase is in Your 50s
When shopping for Long-Term Care Insurance, some companies still offer unlimited lifetime benefits. If you have a substantial amount of assets, you might want to consider an unlimited lifetime benefit. Many companies offer shared spousal benefits, which will give the couple a large amount of benefits that can be shared between the two spouses. Inflation benefits are essential since most people purchase Long-Term Care Insurance in their 50s.
In 45 states, Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance is available, which provides dollar-for-dollar asset protection. Those policies must have inflation benefits in order to meet federal guidelines.
Remember, there are several types of inflation benefits available. Be sure you select an inflation option where the benefits increase each year automatically, but your premium does not increase to match the higher benefit level.
Wills and Powers-of-Attorney
Clark says that if you don't have a will, the state will decide who raises your kids. In the absence of any written direction from you, the court will decide what happens.
Wills are generally not too complicated or too expensive to put together unless you own a business or have a blended family.
Clark says a durable power of attorney (DPA) is a document that allows someone you name to make financial/legal decisions on your behalf. As you get older, this will become even more important.
Included is a power-of-attorney for health care. You get to decide who can make these decisions, and you can give them directives as to your wishes about how your life to be prolonged if there is little hope for survival.
Don't Ignore the Consequences of Aging
Many families ignore planning for the financial costs and burdens of aging despite experts, like Clark Howard, suggesting otherwise. You will see changes in your health, body, and mind in the decades ahead. These changes will often require you to need help with daily activities that you think are routine today, but you will become dependant on others to help you with in the future.
In addition, as we get older, we also face a much higher risk of cognitive decline. One in five women aged 40 and older and one in ten men aged 40 and older will suffer from some type of dementia in their lifetime. People with dementia will need supervisory care to keep them safe.
Don't place the future responsibility of caregiving on your family or your finances. Remember, Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten, so you can't wait until you have major changes in your health. Policies are very affordable as well when you purchase a policy in your 40 or 50s.
About the Author
An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
As Clark Howard says, affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will allow you to enjoy your choice of quality care without placing the burden of caregiving on your adult children. Your kids will get older, and they will have their own careers, families, and responsibilities. Don’t place this responsibility on them.
LTC NEWS OFfers Many Resources for Research
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance provides you with the tax-free resources to pay for quality care without draining savings and adversely impacting your income and lifestyle. However, long-term care is all about family. It allows your family the time to be family as you get older and not having the deal with the role of caregiver.
LTC NEWS offers multiple tools and resources to help you research the financial costs and burdens of aging so you can find an affordable solution.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS by clicking here.
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