Planning for Long-Term Care
Everyone needs a plan for extended care (long-term care/LTC). What does a LTC plan include? There are four main components: Care Preferences, Family, Finances, and Legal Matters. These areas will cover the Who, What, Where, and How of the extended care situation.
Where would you prefer to receive care – at home, family member’s home, assisted living, continuing care retirement community (CCRC), adult family home, nursing facility? Do you have a potential home care agency or facility that you’ve considered? Will you retire in your current city or move?
Who will provide care for you? Do you want your spouse or other family members to physically provide care for you OR do you want them to supervise your care? Do they want to be and are they able to be involved? What would your kids have to give up if they had to provide care for you? Who will coordinate your care? Most parents are reluctant about having their kids provide care for them and usually the kids would rather supervise or coordinate care versus providing it.
How much are care costs where you plan to retire? Here is a good guide on the median cost of care depending on where you live. How will you pay for care costs? Who is your financial advisor? What health, disability, and life insurance do you have? Do you have a long-term care insurance (LTCi) policy? If so, how much coverage do you have? Will you self-fund a portion of your care costs? If so, what accounts will you withdraw money from? Who has the authority to manage your finances and pay bills?
Do you have an estate plan with any of these documents: will, living will, trust, durable power of attorney (POA), and healthcare POA? Who is your attorney? Where are these important documents? Who has the authority to discuss medications and treatment and talk to your doctors? Who are your doctors? Where are your estate planning documents (e.g., POA, will, living will, trust, etc)? Do you have an electronic copy and hard copy? Make sure your family knows the location.
Discussing care preferences, family, finances, and legal matters are important components of every extended care plan. If you have planned the who, what, where, and how of an extended care situation, your family will thank you and be better off.