Creating A Long-term Care Plan, Part 2
In this series, I address how you can create a long-term care plan that will help meet your future financial and care needs. With 70 percent of people over age 65 needing long-term care, there is a good chance you will need to make a plan. Go to artofthinkings-mart.com/care for more information and to sign up for a free long-term care seminar.
Identify potential caretakers.For most families, the caretaker role falls on other family members, often the child who lives the closest. Unfortunately, the child who ends up being the caretaker may spend a significant amount of time and resources, coupled with added stress and potential loss of income. As a result, I have seen tension and resentment among family members erupt, especially when it comes to splitting the parents’ assets. The best way to avoid this is to identify the caretaker and create an agreement beforehand.
Another option is to update the estate plan or create an employment agreement to spell out the caretaker arrangement. Make sure the agreements and updated estate plans are shared with all family members in advance, so there are no surprises or insinuations of manipulation.
Create a downsizing plan. According to National Institute on Aging, home equity is the largest asset for a majority of older Americans. Many face difficult choices to either sell their home to fund their care, relocate or reorganize their living arrangements.
According to Dan Ihara, a senior move specialist who has helped more than 500 families prepare a senior moving plan, “We’ve found that some of the biggest challenges older adults face are determining their senior living options, as well as when and how to make the move.”
After years of accumulating personal items, it can be hard to let go! But keeping the items can be expensive and burdensome, and trying to figure out what to do with them can be stressful. Create a plan for how you will insure, organize and distribute your items.
Another key aspect is transportation. Is it worth keeping a car and paying the related expenses? Apps such as Uber and Lyft make transportation very convenient with potentially less cost. As part of the free long-term care seminar, Ihara and his team will explain how to make a stress-free transition. Please visit artofthinkings-mart.com/care or call 524-2273 for more information.
Create an Estate Plan. There may come a time, when needing long-term care, that your quality of life isn’t acceptable. By creating legal documents such as a Medical Directive or Power of Attorney, you can let medical providers and family members know your wishes for interventions and medical treatments. Since the last years of life tend to be the most expensive medically, this can give the peace of mind you want with financial savings as a notable byproduct. No one wants to be a burden to their loved one, so creating an estate plan can ease this burden. You can create a trust so your family is protected if you become disabled or in the event of your death. Trusts also can be used to qualify for Medicaid or VA benefits, while preserving your assets if you need long-term care.
Next week I will cover ways that can help you pay for long-term care. Through certain strategies, you can leverage your existing assets to last longer!