Take a moment and imagine the next chapter of your life. Do you picture yourself in retirement, enjoying your home and family? Perhaps you imagine moving to a retirement community and taking advantage of activities and classes? Whatever your ideal plan for aging includes, it’s important to plan for your future long-term care.
Planning for your care as you age can help you ensure that your wishes for your home, health, and finances will be observed. Making decisions now can help you and your family when it comes time to seek options for getting support.
What is long-term care?
Long-term care is the broad range of services and care that people need as they age. These services include your housing and living arrangements, medical care, and finances. It also includes your basic day-to-day personal tasks.
Planning for your long-term care includes making decisions about your services, support, finances, and living arrangements.
Do you want to have custodial or in-home care? Have you spoken to your family and caregivers about your medical wishes? Do you want to purchase a long-term care insurance policy, or utilize Medicaid or other public funding options? Do you have a will and estate plan in place?
None of us can know for certain what kind of care we will require as we grow older. Planning now for your long-term care can help you get the support you need on a day-to-day basis as you age. Even if you do not currently have a condition that affects your health, your risk of developing age-related illness increases as time goes on. This is why it is important to make decisions early for your future needs.
Think about where you want to live as you age. Consider your options if there comes a time when you cannot fully care for yourself.
Planning for your future medical care needs is an effective way to make sure your health care wishes will be carried out. Instead of waiting for a medical crisis, plan now for your powers of attorney and health care directives.
There are many things to consider when planning for your long-term care finances. For one, long-term care can be expensive.
Think about your immediate and future financial security, as well as your estate planning and medical costs. There are options for funding your services and support. Some people plan on obtaining public assistance to cover the cost of long-term care. You can also explore private financing such as long-term care insurance or annuities.
You should also consider your estate planning. NJ Elder Law Center attorneys can give you valuable legal input and help you draw up legal documents for your wills, trusts, and designated powers of attorney. Furthermore, our team can guide you and your family through various options that arise as you age.
Insurance for Long-Term Care
Long-term care insurance is a policy that helps pay for the costs associated with long-term care.
Purchasing a long-term care policy can help you pay for your housing and medical care. A long-term insurance policy may offer more options than Medicare as you age.
This is because Medicare provides some coverage for things like short stays in nursing homes or limited home care, but it won’t help with custodial and in-home care.
There are downsides to purchasing a long-term care policy. For many people, the expense is significant.
The contracts for the policies are complicated, which can make deciding on your policy a difficult and complex process.
There is always the chance that the insured person may never use the insurance, and the insurance company generally reserves the right to increase premiums. This can be particularly difficult when you are on a fixed income and cannot afford premium increases.
Talk with Your Relatives About Your Plan
When you are ready to decide about your long-term care plan, discuss your options with your family members and caregivers. This can help alleviate the stress of decision-making on your loved ones if a time comes when you cannot make your own arrangements.
Go over your wishes for housing, your finances, and your healthcare. Let them know what you want them to do when you need extra help. These decisions can be difficult and painful for caregivers, and you can help your loved ones by letting them know now what you want.
Seeking Counsel from an Elder Law Attorney
Putting a plan in place for your long-term care can help you stay in the driver’s seat as you age. Seeking counsel from an elder law attorney can help you make informed choices for you and your family.
Whether you need estate documents put in order or simply wish for a consultation to talk about your long-term care, NJ Elder Law Center at Goldberg Law Group is here to help.
We focus on elder law, estate planning and closely related areas of the law. You can reach us at (973) 228-1795 or complete our contact form for a consultation.