Financial planning advice: consider the cost of elderly care in your retirement budget
By Claire Covert-Wilson
Successful retirement planning requires smart financial planning; and according to a recent report from U.S. News, the cost of elderly care is a key consideration in the development of an effective financial strategy. In addition to safeguarding one’s estate and reducing debt, preparing for specialized eldercare is essential for a secure future. But when outlining a financial plan, be sure to consider all your care options. In addition to coverage provided by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance policies, many families turn to in-home caregivers for a welcome alternative to institutionalized care – and a personal touch that ensures the best possible quality of life for aging seniors.
Tips for effective eldercare planning
Living expenses: As elderly individuals move into retirement, their living expenses and daily lifestyle needs begin to change. Advanced age may alter seniors’ ability to drive, run errands, or even take mass transit to attend doctor’s appointments and community activities. Without a steady income, it is important to plan ahead for caretaking expenses so that you or your aging loved ones can continue to live full and active lives.
Medicare and Medicaid: When it comes to healthcare, Medicare is an important resource for most seniors. This government-subsidized insurance program is currently an option for all elderly persons who are no longer covered by employee insurance. However, while it provides comprehensive medical care it does not include nursing services. Medicaid, on the other hand, does include nursing – but in most states, this type of coverage is only available to low-income seniors. Depending on your circumstances, it may be advisable to budget for caregiving expenses outside your health insurance plan.
Long-term care insurance: For those hoping to defray the costs of elder care, long-term care insurance can be a helpful option. Long-term care insurance is privately purchased coverage that includes nursing as well as other medical needs. However, monthly premiums will make a dent in your budget, so plan accordingly if you choose this route.
In-home eldercare: Finally, for seniors who simply need a helping hand day to day, a companion for certain days of the week or assistance with routine activities like fixing meals, taking medications, bathing and attending appointments, a private in-home eldercare agency may be a better and more affordable alternative for aging individuals and their families. Staffed by skilled, compassionate professionals and designed to put your needs first, quality eldercare agencies offer flexible assistance on your terms, blending professionalism and personal attention for dependable, devoted care.
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