In coming decades, medical advances and healthy lifestyles will allow many Americans to live past 90 and in doing so, increase their likelihood of needing long-term care. Planning for long-term care and incapacity is something that most people would like to avoid, and we understand.
Planning for an eventuality where we put our care in the hands of others is hard to conceptualize. It is our nature to feel more secure when we are in control and planning for incapacity and long-term care are truly planning for when we will not be in control.
Most of us are happy to look the other way and delay, pretending that we will figure it out when the time comes. But we know that resignation and delay are not the right answer.
So, what is the right path to making the plans for our future care?
For many years, Armor has worked with a nationally recognized long-term care consultant who has literally written the book on how to plan for long-term care. We work with him to guide clients through a complete decision-making process that, when integrated with their financial plan, gives comfort and control.
The first step of the long-term care planning process is to understand the continuum of long-term care options and what you would like your optimal care experience to be. Is this care at home, in a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) or other long-term care facility, or with a family member?
Step two is integration with your financial plan and planning for the additional costs of long-term care. What can you afford? What are your funding risks? Will you rely on personal assets, family, LTC insurance or even welfare? What is your family history and your ‘personal odds’ of needing long-term care? If insurance is an alternative, do you even qualify?
After reviewing care and funding alternatives and choosing your desired options, develop a written plan and share it with family members. It is not a topic that any of us want to dwell on, but we do a disservice to our families and ourselves if we do not communicate our plan.
Finally implement and monitor the plan. Does the plan involve earmarking funds or evaluating insurance? The plan should be reviewed and updated every year. Sometimes things change and you are allowed to change your mind.
The mission of Armor Investment Advisors is to make a positive impact on the lives of our clients by reducing financial stress in their lives. Helping clients build a funding plan, evaluate CCRC options, and assess insurance alternatives are all services that we provide in order to reduce the stress of long-term care planning.