According to statistics, over 75% of individuals age 65 and older will need some sort of long-term care as they age. Furthermore, there are a lot of misconceptions and a general lack of understanding and education about long-term care.
Consider the following anecdotes about the average person:
- They don’t understand the full scope of long-term care.
- They can’t estimate the costs associated with long-term care.
- They have no idea what their own needs will be in the future.
- They don’t have much of a clue about how they will pay for everything they and their family members will need.
Long-Term Care is a Systemic Issue
Evidence has shown that nearly 80% of Americans acknowledge the increasing need for long-term care arrangements. However, less than half of those people have taken any steps towards preparing for the impact and expense of the care. According to a study by Genworth Financial, most Americans also want to live a very long life (92 years was the average response), but they fear becoming a burden on their loved ones almost five times more than death itself!
What it comes down to is that the impact of long-term care is universal — everyone ages regardless of race, color, creed, socioeconomic status, etc.
Long-Term Care is a Family Issue
Family members often become the caregivers for their elderly relatives. While this may sound like a great option in terms of remaining close with your relative and in control of their care, it can cause unnecessary stress and financial burden on the other family members.
Long-term care is also wrought with financial stress when it comes to families making financial decisions. For those hoping to rely on government programs for long-term care, remember that Medicare only covers up to 100 days of long-term care and usually requires co-payments. After these benefits cease, the family is on the hook for the remaining costs which could be upwards of $100,000 annually.
Long-Term Care is a Woman’s Issue
More often than not, a woman becomes the family’s caregiver. Despite the fact that they generally outlive men by at least five years, most women spend their resources caring for their spouses and parents at the detriment of their savings and ability to care for themselves in the future. Long-term care is a woman’s issue that needs to be carefully considered as part of any woman’s financial plan.
Women also need to decide which types of long-term care arrangements they’d like to have for themselves and their family, and they need to specifically plan for those expenses. Doing so will ensure they’re more capable of paying the bills that will inevitably begin to roll in.
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