Financial planning for older Americans can be a challenge. Many think that they will rely on programs like Medicare or Medicaid to help them cover costly medical care needs as they age. What these individuals don't realize is that there are strict limitations to what these programs do cover.
Care planning has been an integral part of individuals' lives for decades. However, 50 years ago, it was much easier to figure out how to pay for long-term care if the need arose. One reason why it has become more difficult is because people are living longer. Although Americans are, on average, living longer, the length of time that many individuals require for long-term care has not diminished, which can mean that they accumulate extensive expenses.
It's uncomfortable to think about the limitations we may face when our bodies age. Yet, doing so is imperative because a significant number of us will face health that declines to the point that we will likely need assisted care. This care can take on many forms and can be provided by many different people and providers. Regardless of the type of care one receives, it can be quite costly, especially if it is long-term in nature. By planning for long-term care, New Yorkers can better ensure that they will be able to obtain the care they need and desire without placing their loved ones in a dire financial position.
We all age, which means that we may hit a point where we can no longer care for ourselves. When New Yorkers think of long-term care, they often think of the need for medical services, which are often provided by nursing home services. Although many individuals do wind up needing to reside in a nursing home so that they can receive the care that they need, it is not the only possibility, as one's needs may be different. However, because many people don't believe that they will need the services offered by a nursing home, they fail to adequately plan for the possibility of needing long-term care. This is a mistake.
Estate planning is one of those things that people often neglect to address until it is too late. We encourage New Yorkers to address estate plans early and often because they and their families will be extremely grateful when the time comes for that plan to kick into play. The same holds true with end of life care planning. Although we don't like to think about aging and the potential inability to care for ourselves, planning for the worst case scenario can give one peace of mind.
Most of us do well to plan a week or maybe a few months down the road. However, when it comes to one's health, that may not be enough. Why? Simply put, the cost of long-term care has skyrocketed and those who fail to plan for such care well in advance may be left without the care that they need or want. Also, a lack of planning may leave loved ones responsible for a bill that they may be incapable of handling.
The fact that we all age is inescapable. However, there are a variety of factors that can affect how one's body reacts to age. Some individuals are able to take care of themselves up until their death. Others, though, become incapacitated and need additional care to live their day-to-day lives. Although those in the latter category have a wide range of options when it comes to obtaining assistance, some of which include placement in an assisted living facility. Most people, though, would prefer to stay in the comfort of their own home where they are easily accessible to loved ones.
For many reasons, planning for the future can be difficult. Yet, when it's boiled down, we simply don't know what our futures hold, which makes it hard to determine what type of planning we need to undertake. In most cases, though, people will want to plan for the worst and hope for the best. This is especially true when it comes to long-term care planning.
Planning for the future is no easy task. Many New Yorkers are so busy that they are lucky to plan as much as a week in advance, let alone years or decades. Yet, failing to engage in proper planning can result in significant financial hardship down the road, not only for an individual but also for his or her family. While estate planning is certainly a key aspect of this endeavor, so, too, is care planning.
As we age, our planning needs change. While at one time we may have been concerned about planning for a family or retirement, at others we should force ourselves to confront estate planning and long-term care planning. When it comes to care planning, failing to take proper steps can leave loved ones facing exorbitant costs that can be difficult, if not impossible, to manage.