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Tips for Better Dealing with Long-Term Care and Expenses Later in Life

October 15, 2015

No matter how comfortable your finances are today, that could all change in the future without proper money management. Financial stability should be treated like a nonrenewable source. What is here today could be gone tomorrow. As such, you should have a plan in place now to guard your money to ensure that it is there for you in the future. The following tips are designed to help you figure out how to deal with long-term care and other expenses later in life.

Research Your Long-Term Care (LTC) Options

The best approach to long-term care options is a proactive one. Although it is difficult to think about your mortality and possible health issues in the future, it is much easier to face those tough questions now, when you have time to address them, than it will be in the future when they may need to be dealt with in an emergency situation.

Take the time now to research your LTC options. Find out how much it costs to live in different long-term care facilities (nursing homes, independent living communities, assisted living facilities, etc.). By doing so early on, you can save an adequate amount of money preparing to pay for those living situations.

Find the Right Plan to Pay for LTC

Everyone's financial situation is unique. The amount of money you can afford to comfortably spend on LTC in the future is going to differ from your friends and coworkers. When you're comparing different LTC options, make sure the plan you develop to pay for that care is achievable. You shouldn't be putting so much aside now that you cannot afford to live comfortably in the near term, as that could result in debt now that inhibits your ability to pay for your LTC in the future. At the same time, don't short-change yourself. Find a path to saving that puts aside enough money to pay for the LTC option that best suits your needs.

Compare Coverage Offered

Different LTC options come with different levels of coverage. One setting might seem like the ideal option because it is more affordable and appealing on the surface, but if that lower price comes with a lot of excluded services (such as meals, physical fitness/therapy, and onsite healthcare) it may not be the best option. Take the time to investigate the differences between LTC options with full coverage choices and those with exclusions that could cost you more in the long run.

Explore Other Financial Assistance Options

The federal government offers a variety of small assistance programs beyond simply providing Social Security to qualifying Americans. For example, the US Department of Veterans Affairs offers retired military veterans and their spouses up to $2,000 per month in housing assistance to pay for senior living accommodations. Additionally, Medicaid is an option for those who find gaps in their own healthcare.

Always Have a Backup

It's important to remember that, comparatively speaking, government assistance is still a new concept in America. For the majority of the nation's history, Americans had to find their own way during retirement. It never hurts to have a fend-for-yourself mindset. Make sure you have a backup plan for your finances, whether it's a savings account or investment portfolio, to help cover the gaps in government assistance or in the event of serious illnesses.

The future doesn't have to be a scary, unknown concept. With a little bit of planning and foresight, you'll be able to avoid many of the hurdles that trip-up other people. Contact Manhattan Ridge Advisors for help planning your needs for Long-Term Care.