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3 Questions to Ask Yourself about Your Golden Years

The Golden Years are those years when you’ve retired from the workforce, and you’re finally able to do what you desire: putter in the garage, plant a garden, take sightseeing trips, spend time with your grandkids, along with a host of other possibilities. During your career, you probably set aside adequate finances in an IRA or another form of retirement fund, because you wanted to be able to sustain your lifestyle. But there is another crucial aspect of planning that relates to the Golden Years, and that’s being financially ready for possible Long-Term Care. At Phelps LaClair, located in Phoenix, Chandler, and Mesa Arizona, we’d like to ask you three crucial questions pertaining to the subject of Long-Term Care Support.

3 Crucial Questions about Long-Term Care Support

Forbes.com writes that an estimated 58% of men and 79% of women aged 65 and older will need Long-Term Care at some point in their lives. Other statistics on the subject vary, but all the estimates conclude that the majority of people will need Long-Term Care as they age. None of us wants to think of spending time in a nursing home. But in light of the glaring realities, it’s essential to plan ahead for the expense, so your assets are adequate, your estate is safeguarded from loss, and the living situations of your spouse and family remain stable and secure.

Here are three questions to ask yourself in the event that you would ever need Long-Term Care:

Where Would I Want to Live?

If you were to experience the need for skilled medical care or custodial care (e.g., assistance with daily activities like bathing, dressing and eating), where would you choose to live? The easy answer is, we would probably all prefer to stay at home. The costs for home care in Arizona vary, but they average somewhere around $20.75 per hour for custodial care. Add minimal medical care to your custodial care and that wage increases slightly.

But if you can’t stay at home because of medical needs and other extenuating circumstances, you’ll need to choose a skilled nursing care facility. Rising costs of these facilities are somewhere in the range of $100,000.00 per year on the national level, which means establishing a financial plan for Long-Term Care is more essential than ever—especially if you want to have a say in choosing the location of your care and the quality of care.

Who Would I Want to Take Care of Me?

If you’re financially secure, you’ll probably be able to be more choosy about which agencies or private person(s) you’ll employ to provide your Long-Term Care. The number of nursing facilities in America is growing with the aging population. But which skilled nursing facilities are the best, and what do they offer in terms of amenities, food, quality of care, and even recreational provisions? Not all facilities are created equal. Being able to choose can make all the difference in whether your experience is positive and pleasant, or difficult and frustrating.

How am I Going to Pay for It?

The first two questions lead up to this ultimate question. If you or your spouse need to stay for 2, 3, 4, or 5 years, how are you going to pay for Long-Term Care in a skilled nursing facility? There are ways to plan that can set your mind at ease and prevent your assets from being drained by the high costs of care. But many of these solutions require planning ahead rather than waiting until your final years. One possibility is to purchase a life insurance policy that will become your children’s inheritance, in the event that your personal resources need to be spent on you or your spouse. Another possibility is to gift your inheritance to your children (assuming they are trustworthy and will help you financially if needed) as part of becoming eligible for Medicaid. But plans must be made well in advance of the time you’ll actually need care.

We strongly urge you to plan now for unexpected situations surrounding Long-Term Care. If you live in the Phoenix Valley and you’d like to speak with one of our qualified, experienced Elder Care lawyers, feel free to contact us through our website or pick up the phone and give us a call. We want you to be ready for all the Long-Term Care support you’ll ever need, without creating poverty for your family, or a loss of their inheritance.

Images used under creative commons license – Commercial Use (6/15/18) Vansterpartiet bildbank on Flickr

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