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Long-term care in retirement planning

The facts can be quite sobering. It’s estimated that 70 percent of Americans will require long-term care of some kind in their lives. If you become part of that group, your long-term care cost could be roughly $138,000 over your lifetime. And if you’re like most people, you haven’t done any long-term care planning.

Planning for long-term care as part of your retirement planning can bring you peace of mind. No one wants to consider the possibility of having an injury or debilitating illness that would necessitate long-term care, but having a plan—just in case—can help ensure you will be well cared for.

Getting started

Find an attorney that specializes in long-term care, retirement planning and elder law to guide you in creating the best possible plan for you. Before meeting with your attorney about your long-term care planning, there are a few things you can do to get started:

  • Learn about the costs. Visit AARP’s long-term care calculator page to find the average New Hampshire costs for long-term care options such as nursing homes, assisted living or a home health aides.
  • Learn about financing. Most people will pay for long-term care out of pocket and many will end up turning to Medicaid. There’s a mistaken belief that private health insurance and Medicare will cover all your care. However, Medicare doesn’t cover extended nursing home stays. Medicaid has an abundance of rules that vary from state to state and Medicaid eligibility is based federal and state income levels.
  • Learn about Long-term care insurance. It’s estimated that only 11 percent of older Americans carry private long-term care insurance. High premium costs prevent many from pursuing this option.
  • Learn about family options. Family discussions about your long-term care preferences can aid your planning.

No one knows what their future may hold, but preparation today can help ensure a secure future.