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Start the Year Off Right: Prepare for Your Changing Needs

Tips for Establishing a Long-Term Care Plan 

The start of the New Year is a great time to reassess your financial plan and you may want consider including long-term care. You might think you can put it off until later, but 40 percent of individuals receiving long-term care are between the ages of eighteen and sixty-four, according to the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information. Seventy percent of individuals over age sixty-five will need long-term care. Because women live longer, it’s particularly important to have a long-term care plan in place. Taking action now can help give you more control and choice over your future. 

Lisa Caputo, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Women & Co., and Linda Descano, CFA®, President and COO of Women & Co., offer the following tips to get you started: 

1. Decide what you want. Think carefully about your preferences and options. If you were to need care for an extended period, would you want to receive it at home or at a long-term care facility? If you prefer to receive care at home, who do you expect would provide that care? Would you expect to move in with a family member or friend? 

2. Communicate your decisions. Talk to your family about your preferences, as well as your values and beliefs about the care and extent of life-saving measures that you want to receive should you become incapacitated or are unable to speak for yourself. 

3. Put your wishes in writing. Work with an attorney to create a will, living will, power of attorney, and health care proxy. Review them every few years to ensure that they still express your wishes and meet your needs. Give the person or persons you designate an original. Keep another signed original on file with your attorney or at your home. 

4. Review your health insurance. Figure out what types of long-term care services your health care insurance would and would not pay. Contrary to what many people believe, private health insurance and Medicare do not pay for the majority of long-term care services that people may need. 

5. Know what you can afford. Figure out what steps you can take to help you stay financially fit in retirement by working with your financial advisor. Discuss your long-term care decisions and your insurance coverage to help you determine how much you are likely to need to pay for “uncovered” long-term care. Look into whether long-term care insurance, trusts or other options may be appropriate to help minimize your out-of-pocket long-term care costs.