Often, the subjects we wish to avoid are the ones we should be discussing the most. One of these difficult topics is end-of-life care. As people live longer, there’s an increased demand for caretakers, nursing homes and medical care. Currently, 52 percent of people turning 65 can expect to use some form of long-term care during their lifetime. This raises questions about how to deal with the cost of long-term care. Here’s what you need to know about long-term care and how you can make it more affordable.
Anticipate Rising Rates
It’s no surprise that, like many things, the cost of long-term care has increased. Just how much? Rates have increased 50% since 2004. On average, a private room in a nursing home now costs more than $8,000 a month, and it’s not likely to improve. When calculating the costs of long-term care insurance, you’ll need to factor in the cost of the premium.
In your 20s and 30s, there’s no need to stress about the cost of long-term care. During these decades, your focus should be on building your financial stability.
But by the time you reach your 40s and 50s, you should start thinking about post-retirement coverage. This is when the discussion of long-term care insurance needs to be top of mind — when you’re in a position to allocate funds towards this type of care and when you’re able to convey your wishes to your family.
Ask the Right Questions
When it comes to long-term care, there are many factors to consider.
Type of Facility
How long will you stay in your own home? If you’re unable to, where will you go? Will you opt for a nursing home, assisted living or senior living?
Be realistic about your healthcare needs, both the expected and the unexpected. What would happen if you became seriously ill? What would happen if you became disabled? Talk to your family and friends about your preferences.
Discuss advance directives for medical care with your loved ones and your lawyer.
What are your resources? How will you allocate them?
Understand Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term-care insurance operates like any other insurance. In practical terms, you must purchase long-term care insurance before you actually need it. By planning for your needs now, you can decrease your chances of becoming uninsurable later, which can place a burden on the resources of you and your family. There are three important factors you need to consider.
The younger you are, the more likely you are to be in better health, which can lower your premium. It will be much easier to arrange your finances now, as premiums only become more expensive the longer you wait.
If both you and your spouse are purchasing a long-term care policy, you may have the option of sharing it for additional coverage.
Made to Order
You can tailor your daily benefit. If your resources are such that you will be able to supplement it with other retirement income, you may be able to reduce your premium.
Supplement With Life Insurance
When weighing the costs of long-term care, consider your life insurance policy — or a rider on your life insurance policy — as a way to supplement your income later in life. While life insurance and riders do not replace long-term care or disability income insurance, they have the potential to help protect you financially later on. With Farm Bureau’s Daily Living Rider, you can choose to receive a portion of your policy’s death benefit to help cover expenses if you become chronically ill or unable to care for yourself.
Making the Cost of Long-Term Care Insurance More Affordable
Discussing long-term care needs isn’t an easy conversation, but it’s one that you should have now. By planning ahead, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your wishes and priorities are taken care of. Contact your Farm Bureau agent today.