Long-Term Care — What do I need to know?

The Retirement Blueprint™ was built around the Five Cornerstones of Retirement Planning, which include having an:

· Income Plan

· Investment Plan

· Tax Plan

· Estate Plan

· Long-Term Care Plan

Having a plan for a nursing home stay is an essential step in protecting you, your spouse and your wealth from a potentially catastrophic event; a total ‘spend down’ of your nest egg. Here are some basic planning tips for that essential planning.

Where do I start?

Choosing a long-term care facility that is right for you or a loved one is an important decision, especially given all the variables. It is critical to assess this choice as objectively as possible so that your wealth management plan can continue to sustain you and your loved ones the way you intend.

We have developed a basic list of questions to ask when planning for long-term care for yourself or your loved ones. This is not a complete list of questions, but here are a few of the most important ones.

Is Long-Term Care Insurance Available?

Assessing the ability to pay for long-term care is critical to your decision. If you have long-term care insurance, or if your loved one does, this may provide enough financial support to pay for your long-term care, depending on where you live and the amount of coverage. Keep in mind that long-term care can run from about $3,600 per month to $10,000+, with memory care topping almost $15,000/mo.

For those who do not already have LTC insurance, you may find it cost prohibitive in today’s market place to add it. There are many other ways to protect from a nursing home stay other than a traditional LTC policy.

If you or your loved one are a veteran or the widow of a veteran, you may be able to qualify for assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Medicaid can also assist if you qualify. There are also estate planning options that you can use as well as ‘Hybrid’ insurance planning options that affordable.

What Type of Long-Term Care Is Needed?

As much as long-term care varies in cost, it also varies in type. “What type of long-term care is needed?” is a good question to ask yourself when the time is right. If you or a loved one is basically self-sufficient but needs help with day-to-day tasks like dressing or preparing meals, you could consider ‘assisted-living’ facilities as an option.

If more advanced care is needed for medical reasons, skilled nursing homes or memory care facilities are two other options. Of course, any medical care facility will be more costly.

Another alternative is ‘home healthcare’. If your loved one doesn’t need advanced care and would benefit from being at home with some extra assistance, it would be worth your time to reach out to home healthcare providers, such as Senior Helpers or FirstLight. The cost for these types of services typically falls in the $20-$30/hour range. (1) Also, Ohio offers a Medicaid program called PASSPORT that helps the elderly stay in their homes by providing care services. The bottom line is that you have plenty of options and it’s a matter of deciding what is the best fit for you.

What Location Makes Sense?

After you nail down some answers to the aforementioned questions, start looking for long-term care centers online. There are a multitude of online resources that can help you narrow down to a few choices. Once you have developed your short list, take some time to visit in person to see if they ‘feel’ like a good fit. One tip is to visit when you can take a look at the food service. This is by far one of the most overlooked areas and also one of the biggest issues we see. Good food can be the ‘deal maker’ or the ‘deal breaker’ and you do not want to find that out after you move in.

Another consideration is to choose a place that is close to family and friends. This will make visiting easier, which means more frequency of visits does not put a strain on busy lives. We recommend visiting three to five facilities before making a decision.

During your visits, be sure to discuss costs with the facility administrators. Find out if the facility accepts Medicaid, and if so, if they require a ‘private pay’ period before accepting Medicaid.

What Red Flags Should You Be Aware Of?

Obviously, you will want to do thorough research on the long-term facility you choose. But some of the best research can be just observing on your facility visits. Watch the residents and how they are behaving. Are they engaged and in the common areas? Take part in an activity with a group of residents and talk to them about their life there; do they seem content? Make notes about the facility; does it seem warm and inviting? Or does it feel like a sterile environment? Consider checking with the Ohio Department of Aging’s Long-Term Care Consumer Guide to research facilities, view inspection reports, and see any complaints or citations that have been filed.

Most importantly, remember to ask questions about whether specific needs can be met at the facility, including whether doctors’ visits are a regular occurrence, whether planned activities are part of the daily routine for the residents, and whether the ratio of caregivers to patients is acceptable.

Worried About Long-Term Care? We Can Help!

Securing long-term care is a big step in anyone’s life plan, and there are many details and variables that go into making the right decision. Axim Planning Group can help your family with this major transition. Our strategic partners can provide all you need to ensure that this and your other planning needs are met through our trademark process, The Retirement Blueprint™. Please reach out to us today if you have questions about long-term care or other related matters, such as estate planning, wealth management, social security claiming strategy, and general financial planning. No matter your concern, we have you covered — Let us ‘Blueprint’ your life today! Contact us by phone at 855–684–3485, email us at info@retireblueprint.com , or visit us at www.AximWealth.com .

(1) https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html

You can watch The Retirement Blueprint show on NBC or by clicking here for previous episodes: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3BR6CUGWwfUc4gRIyAYyzA




Timothy Lofton is a Senior Executive and Dynamic Leader with a proven track record of driving business growth. Check out TimothyPLofton.net for even more!

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Timothy Lofton

Timothy Lofton

Timothy Lofton is a Senior Executive and Dynamic Leader with a proven track record of driving business growth. Check out TimothyPLofton.net for even more!

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