Dif­fer­ing choices, your best strat­egy is think­ing ahead

RSWLiving - - Contents - BY STEVEN V. GREENSTEIN Steven V. Greenstein is Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent, Wealth Ser­vices, for The Sani­bel Cap­tiva Trust Com­pany, an in­de­pen­dent trust com­pany with $1.5 bil­lion in as­sets un­der man­age­ment that pro­vides fam­ily of­fice and wealth man­age­ment s

Dif­fer­ing choices, your best strat­egy is think­ing ahead

One of the largest threats to your fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity and independence is the po­ten­tial costs of long-term care. Since stud­ies show most of us will need some type of long-term care, it is some­thing to con­sider as part of our fi­nan­cial plan­ning. There are dif­fer­ent ways to ad­dress this is­sue and in­di­vid­ual plans should re­flect our fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity, per­sonal pref­er­ences and fam­ily re­sources.

One way to cover costs is self-fund­ing. First, ex­am­ine your as­sets to de­ter­mine how liq­uid they are, in what or­der you will liq­ui­date them and de­ter­mine if you ac­tu­ally have enough money to cover costs that can eas­ily ex­ceed $25/hour for non-skilled home care, for ex­am­ple, and even higher for home health pro­fes­sion­als.

In­sur­ance can de­fray costs. One type is the tra­di­tional longterm care cov­er­age much like auto in­sur­ance with an­nual pre­mi­ums. An­other op­tion com­bines life in­sur­ance with a longterm care cov­er­age rider. Poli­cies can be con­fus­ing and the terms and fea­tures can vary widely― when ben­e­fits be­gin, how long they last, max­i­mum daily pay­out and what ser­vices are cov­ered. Be­fore de­cid­ing, work with an in­sur­ance agent to de­ter­mine plan ben­e­fits and if the costs are within your cur­rent bud­get. Since in most plans there are un­der­writ­ing re­quire­ments, pre­mi­ums are af­fected by your age and health.

Fam­ily can also be a re­source. Of­ten times the health­ier spouse or even chil­dren are able to as­sist with care. Even with those op­tions, ask your­self if they could use ad­di­tional help, or even if you want to bur­den them.

You can also con­sider mov­ing into a life care re­tire­ment fa­cil­ity. Mov­ing can be emo­tional and stress­ful but there are tiered re­tire­ment com­mu­ni­ties and cen­ters that can elim­i­nate ad­di­tional moves. Many have med­i­cal un­der­writ­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions, so be sure to re­search your op­tions as early as pos­si­ble. You can progress from ac­tive re­tire­ment liv­ing, to ex­tended care for tem­po­rary needs, to as­sisted liv­ing, to skilled nurs­ing care, to de­men­tia care and even to hospice care. There is a wide range of costs as­so­ci­ated with var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ties and cen­ters. Find the one that best suits your needs and meets your bud­get.

Long-term care plan­ning com­bines the goals of fi­nan­cial plan­ning and es­tate plan­ning with the con­cerns of pro­tect­ing and pre­serv­ing as­sets from the very sub­stan­tial costs of long-term care.

Sound long-term care plan­ning not only pro­tects your fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity and independence, but it may also prove to be the great­est gift you can give to your loved ones.

Fam­ily can also be a re­source.

LE­GAL, IN­VEST­MENT AND TAX NO­TICE: This in­for­ma­tion is not in­tended to be and should not be treated as le­gal ad­vice, in­vest­ment ad­vice or tax ad­vice. Read­ers, in­clud­ing pro­fes­sion­als, should un­der no cir­cum­stances rely upon this in­for­ma­tion as a sub­sti­tute for their own re­search or for ob­tain­ing specific le­gal or tax ad­vice from their own coun­sel.

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