By Marjorie L. Rand, CPA, CFP®, RICP®
Planning for retirement is multi-faceted. Dreams of pursuing hobbies and traveling motivate many to save, but proper planning is more complex. When determining a retirement date, assuring your healthcare needs are met, and nailing down when you’ll begin withdrawing Social Security, long-term care is a factor that can often be overlooked.
Throw in reviewing costs, coverage options, and assuring your estimated needs will be covered, and it’s easy to see why guidance from a professional is recommended. Many don’t realize Medicare only covers an estimated 5% of all long-term care needs in the U.S. each year. (1)
Without a crystal ball, we can’t know what our later years will look like. But it is smart to be prepared for future days where you may need to rely on the helping hands of others or utilize a long-term care facility.
In the state of New Jersey, long-term care costs easily reach $65,000 per year, and the average need for long-term care is 2½ years. (2)
Will I Really Require Long-Term Care?
Long-term care is an umbrella term referring to any support or service one may require to meet health and personal care needs over an extended period of time. (3)
Current statistics show that those aged 65 have a nearly 70% chance of utilizing some sort of long-term care service or form of support in their remaining years. (4)
Many fall victim to the belief that Medicare will handle all their healthcare-related needs. But the fact is that Medicare does not pay for non-skilled assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs), which make up the majority of long-term care services. (5) ADLs refer to activities like personal hygiene and dressing.
Create A Plan
Drafting long-term care plans won’t be the most enjoyable part of retirement planning, but it’s a great way of communicating your desires to your loved ones before that day comes. Think about the type of facility you may want to live in, which loved ones you may want nearby, and the type of care you’d like to receive.
Depending on the state of your health, your options may include in-home healthcare, an assisted living facility, or a long-term care nursing home.
It’s important to share your wishes with those who will be helping with your transition, and doing so in advance will relieve stress when the time comes.
Funding Your Future Long-Term Care Needs
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance works like a standard health insurance plan. You pay a premium for predetermined services the policy will cover.
These plans can differ in levels of service, duration of coverage, and cost.
Other Creative Options
Adding a rider to a life insurance policy or annuity is another option to explore. If you are already paying a premium or making a contribution to an annuity, the added cost to cover longer-term care may be an economical option.
Saving For Your Future Needs
Many choose to cover their long-term care needs through their saving and investing efforts, and it’s helpful to review the potential cost of your future needs with a qualified financial advisor.
Like any retirement savings, creating a goal associated with a specific dollar amount will bring clarity to your plan and strategy. Build a plan with a financial advisor to assure there aren’t any gaps. You also gain the added benefit of receiving guidance and figures based on your goals and personal financial status.
At Rand Financial Planning, we help people like you properly plan for their future so they can achieve happiness in retirement. Get started on creating a plan for success. Schedule a 20-minute introductory call or reach out to us at 908-895-2406 or email@example.com to see if we are the right firm to help you on your financial journey.
About MargeMarjorie Rand is founder and financial advisor at Rand Financial Planning, a comprehensive, fee-only, fiduciary financial planning firm. Marge specializes in helping her clients plan for a secure retirement and navigate life’s many transitions through customized, tax-efficient retirement planning. She is passionate about empowering her clients to make the best financial decisions for their life and being by their side no matter what life throws at them. Marjorie spent many years as a CPA before founding Rand Financial Planning so she could be a go-to source for all her clients’ financial needs and help them avoid costly mistakes. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Rutgers University and a Master of Science in Taxation from Fairleigh Dickinson University, along with the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) designations. When she’s not working, Marge enjoys boating, horseback riding, traveling, and hiking with her husband and her dog, Rangeley. To learn more about Marjorie, connect with her on LinkedIn.