By Michael Smith,LUTCF, President of CPS Horizon
During the last 2-3 years I have seen a significant increase in people learning more and taking action for long-term care planning. Pre-retirees and those already retired are beginning to realize that having a plan for care, if needed, is an important aspect of retirement living.
Perhaps you know about naming a power of attorney for health care and finances; but have you discussed with your spouse and family your wishes should you need long term care services? Having a discussion now, while you are healthy and able allows clear understanding, sound decisions, and reduces family stress.
Questions to Consider
Should you need care, who is going to provide it? A spouse? An adult child? A home health nurse? If you need to go to a facility, which one? Have you toured it?
My Personal Experience
My father had an unexpected stroke at age 59. While he was able to communicate, it affected his left side and left him largely bound to a chair. He lived another 9 years; but not without a home health aide coming to the house 5 days a week. I witnessed the stress it put on my mom. My sister and I did what we could to help; but we had young children that also demanded our attention.
While our planning wasn’t perfect, when my dad passed, my mom has since lived comfortably and will not have to worry about finances. Nine years of care would have normally wiped out a lifetime of savings and put mom’s income in jeopardy. But we devolved a plan, helped where we could and still have a close knit family.
I encourage you to do some planning. Stress test your portfolio to determine if it could survive the expenses of a long-term care event. Determine if a surviving spouse will have enough income should a portfolio be depleted by $350,000 or more.
If it looks like the high expenses could jeopardize a retirement plan, consider making adjustments or consider a form of long-term care insurance. The Shakespeare team can help you in analyzing and determining what is in your best interest.