If you’re planning your upcoming retirement, you probably like to think about things such as vacations to take, time to be spent with family and even taking up new hobbies. After all, the whole reason for retiring is to enjoy your free time.
However, there are very real challenges in retirement that require planning and careful consideration. One of those challenges is the prospect of long-term care. Long-term care is extended support required when a person struggles to complete basic activities of daily living, such as getting dressed and eating.
Many retirees need long-term care because of cognitive issues, such as Alzheimer’s, but there can be other causes as well. For instance, you may suffer an injury that limits your mobility. Or you may have an illness that limits your ability to care for yourself.
Long-term care isn’t cheap, and often it’s required for years. For those two reasons, it’s important to develop a plan for dealing with long-term care in advance. Without a plan in place, you may not be able to acquire the level of care you would prefer.
Don’t think long-term care is an important issue for you? Review the three long-term care myths below. If any of them sound familiar, you may want to reconsider your thinking.
I won’t need long-term care.
You might not plan for long-term care because you think it won’t happen to you. But according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of Americans age 65 and older can expect to need long-term care at some point in their lifetime.1
Think that figure seems high? Consider all of the possible conditions that might prevent you from performing basic activities of daily living. There are cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. There are injuries to your hips, knees and other body parts, which could limit mobility. There are also diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s and others, all of which could restrict your ability to care for yourself.
It’s only natural your health may falter as you age. The numbers suggest it’s very possible you could suffer from a condition that prevents you from taking care of yourself. If you don’t have a plan in place, you may not receive the kind of care you want.
Medicare will cover all the costs.
Medicare is an especially helpful tool for retirees. Depending on the mix of coverage you choose, Medicare may cover a wide range of expenses, including hospitalizations, prescription drugs, doctor visits and more. A supplemental policy might even help you with premiums.
However, Medicare is not a long-term care insurer. There are some unique instances in which Medicare will cover long-term care. But those instances are usually related to a hospitalization for a specific issue. Even then, you may be only partially covered for a few months. After that, you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
My family will take care of me.
Many adult children do take care of their elderly parents, so it’s possible your family will come through and help you in your time of need. However, it doesn’t hurt to have other plans in place.
It’s hard work to care for someone who is immobile or can’t eat or bathe. It may require a serious time commitment. Consider whether your family members can really drop all their other commitments to clean, cook and get you bathed and dressed. They may help, but they may not be able to do the job full time.
The good news is you have a number of options available if you start planning now. Our team here at Foote Financial Group can help you develop a plan for long-term care and other retirement risks. Contact us today to start the conversation.
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