Have you ever discussed with your spouse and your family your wishes for long-term care?
If you are like most people the answer is probably no. Studies show that families tend to avoid discussing topics that involve finances, health care, legal directives, and death. No surprise, these are not fun topics. However, if you are not planning for how to handle these important areas you should expect trouble down the road. To put your family in the best possible position you will want to have an “LTC Action Plan”. Start by making sure that the siblings and in-laws, as well as a surviving spouse, are on the same page about the need for care and how you will work together to move forward.
Discuss your wishes with your family
If you want to remain at home or there is a specific assisted living community or nursing home you prefer (or want to avoid) let them know. You should let them know what kind of financial resources are available. This includes savings, investments, assets, and insurance that can be drawn on to pay for the expensive costs of long-term care (as well as legal fees). Moreover, it also makes sense to establish power-of-attorney documents with the most appropriate family member(s) in case you become incapable or incapacitated.
Here is a checklist of questions you will want to review with your family:
- Who lives close enough to be “hands-on” to help with driving and appointments?
- Is there a need to establish a Power of Attorney or Conservatorship? Whom should that be in the family and who is the attorney?
- Who is the right person to assess the financial situation? Are there available savings, assets, and insurance that can be used to help pay for care? Will Medicaid be necessary and will they qualify?
- Should a professional care manager be called in to help assess the health situation and devise a care plan?
- Will the care be at home or should it be in an assisted living community or nursing home?
- Should an elder law attorney be hired?
The key is for the family to come together
No one wants to be a financial burden on their loved ones. Additionally, everyone deserves choice and dignity during their “long-term care years”. Therefore, the sooner you get your house in order by organizing your finances, discussing your wishes with your family, and seeking out professional guidance the better off you and your family will be.
It’s never too late to start planning for a well-balanced retirement. Listen to my podcast, Retirement Genius where you hear about investing and retirement planning to help you achieve clarity, confidence, and freedom as you prepare for and transition into and through retirement.