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Is long-term care part of your long-term financial plan?

Is long-term care part of your long-term financial plan_

The U.S. labor market has been showing sustained job growth and higher wages. Of course, this means increased consumer confidence. While this is good news, it hasn’t resulted in much spending beyond basic living expenses.

Many consumers are wary of incurring additional costs having just weathered the recent recession. Moreover, some might discount dedicating any additional money toward long-term care expenditures.

Experts indicate people just have a hard time believing they would ever require long-term care. This is especially true if they make a conscious effort to “live right.” In other words, exercising, eating right and pursuing a balanced lifestyle are made a priority.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has found, however, that no one is immune to aging. According to the agency, 70 percent of individuals 65 and older today will likely require long-term care.

When exactly do people need assistance with the “activities of daily living?”

It may be a shock to learn the bar for ADL (Activities of Daily Living) assistance is relatively low. Indeed, long-term care is necessary when a physician certifies an individual can’t do any two of the following independently:

  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Feeding
  • Using the restroom/treating incontinence
  • Transferring themselves (i.e., chair to bed, or vice versa)

Having established why it’s important to be open-minded about long-term care, the focus must shift. Specifically, it must shift to how exactly this major expense can be funded.

We’ll examine this topic in our next post, addressing common misconceptions about the costs of long-term care.

Source: USA Today, “Do you need long-term care insurance?” Wendy Connick, March 8, 2017

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