Column: Dollars & Sense: How to prepare financially for a longer life
Dollars & Sense
If you ask people, many of them will tell you that they are not afraid of dying so much as they may be afraid of outliving their resources. No one looks forward to the time when you can no longer care for yourself. When that time comes, your ability to live as good a life as physically possible will depend on what preparations you make today. Exercise, eat right, stay mentally fit and financially prepared.
Long-term care can be expensive, and costs can quickly impact a person’s financial security. People are living longer, which increases the odds of developing a chronic illness that could require on-going care. If the day comes that you are unable to do basic things, such as dressing yourself, getting in and out of bed, eating a meal or going to the bathroom alone, you will need to be prepared for the costs of paying professional caregivers for the help you need.
As health care costs escalate, an increasing number of people are protecting themselves by planning for long-term care. Though Medicare covers skilled care for acute conditions such as heart attacks and broken bones, in general, it does not cover the custodial care required for chronic medical conditions.
When making your plans for a secure retirement, it’s also important to consider long-term care needs as a way of helping to protect your assets so they aren’t exhausted by possible extended-care costs. By planning ahead, you can help maintain your independence and help ensure you have financial security to live your life your way.
There are quite a few factors to consider when planning for long-term care. For this reason, it’s important to work with a financial professional who understands your needs, and who can design a plan that will meet those needs at a cost you can afford. Specifically, look for a financial professional who is supported by a well-established company with a solid history of strength and stability. A company that is well-positioned to deliver long-term value and will be there when you need it most.
The right long-term care plan can provide you with options on how you receive the care you need and where. It gives you choices about how your final years are lived and where. And maybe, such a plan can help reduce the fear of outliving your resources.
Mike Davis is a Rifle-based financial representative with Northwestern Mutual, the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Milwaukee, Wis., and its subsidiaries.
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