Long Term Care Planning Services

How Do I Plan for Long Term Care?

Long term care is a critical aspect of retirement income planning that many people overlook when planning for retirement. While no one wants to think about the possibility of needing assisted living or nursing care, it's essential to plan for this aspect of your future to ensure that you are adequately prepared. When preparation is lacking, the cost of long term care can be financially crippling.

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How Much Does Long Term Care or Nursing Home Care Cost?

Nursing costs can vary widely based on the level of care needed, whether it’s in-home care or at a facility, the location of the facility desired, and the state in which the facility is located. For example, in Ohio, care ranges from $54,000 annually for in-home services to $109,000 for a semi or private room. With numbers like these, a retirement plan that hasn’t factored in care needs can be at great risk if or when care is needed.

What Steps Can I Take to Plan for Long Term Care?

Educate Yourself

The first step in planning for long-term care is to educate yourself about the different types of care available, the associated costs, and how it is paid for. Long-term care can include a variety of services, such as home health care, adult day care, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes. Understanding the different options and their costs can help you make informed decisions about your long-term care needs.

Discuss Your Options

Once you have a good understanding of the different types of long-term care available, you and your spouse should discuss your options and preferences. Consider your current health status, family history, and lifestyle when making these decisions.

Genworth calculator
Genworth has an amazing tool that shows the cost of care in each state, and even differentiates based on the various levels and types of care. You can access that tool here.
Calculate your Cost of Care

How Do I Pay For Long Term Care?

  1. Self Pay
    Choose to pay for any care needs out of pocket or from your investment assets and/or spend down those assets until Medicaid begins to pick up the tab. 

  2. Buy traditional long term care insurance
    Purchased as a ‘dollars per day’ benefit for a specific period of time, the policy will provide much needed funds to pay for care after a qualifying period is reached. 

  3. Link long term care benefits to a life insurance policy
    Specially-designed policies allow you to spend the death benefit during your life for long term care costs. Any remaining benefits pass to beneficiaries at death.

  4. Pair long term care benefits to an income annuity
    Certain annuities have a benefit that results in a doubling of the guaranteed annual income available should you qualify for long term care.   

Which option or options to choose is a very personal choice. Factors include the amount of savings you have accumulated, nature of retirement income sources, family and medical history, appetite for managing risk, and emotional factors. 

Review Your Estate Plan

As part of your long-term care planning, you should review your estate plan to ensure that it addresses your long-term care needs. This may include updating your will, establishing a trust, and designating a power of attorney for health care and finances.

Seek Professional Advice

Planning for long-term care can be complex, and it's essential to seek professional advice to ensure that you make informed decisions. A financial planner who collaborates with an elder law attorney can help you evaluate your options and create a long-term care plan that meets your needs.

Regularly Reevaluate Your Plan

As your circumstances change, it's essential to regularly reevaluate your long-term care plan to ensure that it continues to meet your needs. This may include reviewing your insurance coverage, updating your estate plan, and making adjustments to your savings and investment strategies.

What To Do Next

Planning for the uncertainty of long term care needs is an essential aspect of retirement planning for couples. By educating yourself, discussing your options, considering long-term care insurance and other funding sources, reviewing your estate plan, seeking professional advice, and regularly reevaluating your plan, you can help ensure that you and your spouse are prepared for any long term care needs that may arise.

Planning for long term care is a very nuanced and complex endeavor. The cost of care has risen significantly and is poised to continue to grow. Because of this, seeking professional counsel is imperative. And as much as it seems that there is a definitive right answer out there for everyone, the best we can do is plan for as many potential outcomes as possible, knowing that the future is very uncertain, and we won’t know until looking back in hindsight whether the plan was optimum. That said, to simply hope everything turns out okay isn’t a plan at all, so there may be some work to do to ensure you’ve done your best. 

Contact Us

Contact us to schedule a discussion about long term care planning and how it fits into a comprehensive retirement plan.

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Fourth Dimension Financial Group LLC

27121 Oakmead Dr.
Suite B
Perrysburg, Ohio 43551