Long Term Care

 

People today are beginning to realize the importance of instituting a financial plan for their retirement. Money is being set aside for housing, food, travel, and other expenses. And while it is impressive that advance preparations are being made, too often the plans are drawn up and executed with the assumption that good health and independence will remain indefinitely. This has the potential to cause financial hardship in the event that medical conditions or advanced age create the need for long term care. Long term care provides an individual with on-site assistance and immediate access to trained medical personnel and includes such facilities as nursing homes and assisted living centers.

The major drawback associated with such facilities is the price. The typical monthly costs range between $4,000 and $5,000 but they can go much higher. These fees are beyond the means of many and savings can quickly evaporate if an individual becomes a permanent resident or stays for an extended period of time. In these cases family members often dip into their savings or begin to accumulate debt in order to cover the ever growing cost of long term care.

There are several means of preparation that an individual can take to help offset the cost of long term care should this ever become necessary. Each of the potential options available have advantages and drawbacks. The first option is to factor long term care into the creation of your budget. Begin saving a reserve of money and designate it for the purpose of assisted living should that situation arise. Unfortunately, it is impossible to accurately forecast how much money may be necessary because it is dependent on variables that are impossible to determine, such as a person's length of stay. Additionally, even if an accurate total could be determined it may be such a large sum that accumulating the appropriate level of savings would simply not be realistic.

However, establishing some level of savings for this possibility will definitely be helpful. The second option is to obtain a long term care insurance policy. This insurance is designed to help offset the high costs that are attached to this specialized form of care. The disadvantage associated with this option is the cost of the premiums can often become quite high. A third option would be to rely on family members for assistance with daily living. Although this option may not always be possible due to a variety of reasons it is none the less a worthy consideration. Many times family members are more than qualified to offer help with non-medical tasks such as eating and bathing. Careful consideration should be given before a final decision is made and it may be determined that a combination of options might be the right alternative for you.

The need for long term care will not be diminishing any time soon. In fact, it will become more important than ever as the Baby Boomers advance in years. With this in mind, it is important to make the necessary preparations now in order to insure financial security for both you and your family.

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