During the long-term care planning process, seniors face multiple tough decisions and risk making the wrong move. Here are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid in order to ensure you are protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your life savings in the face of long-term care.
Believing you will not need long-term care
It’s natural to assume something undesirable won’t happen to you, but the reality is that at least 70% of seniors will require some form of long-term care during their lives, meaning you’re more likely to need care than not. Since long-term care costs can run upwards of $8,000 per month, you risk depleting your life savings in just a few years, especially if you fail to plan ahead.
Assuming your spouse or children will be able to care for you
Many seniors believe their loved ones will take care of them in old age. However, caregiving is no easy task, especially for elderly spouses or adult children with their own jobs and families to take care of. Regardless of how much your loved ones care about you, providing care 24/7 is physically and emotionally taxing and is simply not feasible for many families.
Following the wrong guidance
Although you may be tempted to turn to your circle of family or friends for advice on your long-term care, they may not know the best solution for your situation. The same goes for professionals you have worked with in the past. Simply put, they may not be qualified to give you legal or financial guidance and following their advice may throw a wrench into your plans.
Find a qualified long-term care planning professional near you.
Being reluctant to pay an attorney
An attorney is a crucial ally to have during the long-term care planning process. Even though you might be concerned about the cost of working with an attorney, it’s important to understand that legal fees are miniscule compared to the cost of senior care. Plus, cost shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your hard-earned savings.
Not properly shielding assets
The reality is 75% of single people and 50% of couples will exhaust their life savings within one year of entering a nursing home. The best way to safeguard your hard-earned assets from paying the long-term care bill or from Medicaid estate recovery is to put asset protection strategies in place ahead of time. This may include establishing a trust, gifting assets, or purchasing long-term care insurance.
Waiting until it’s too late
The longer you put off planning for your long-term care, the more likely it is you’ll have to pay out of pocket for care. In order to avoid this, it’s important to act now while you’re still healthy. Putting these plans in place at least five years before you need care allows you to outlast the Medicaid lookback period and avoid a penalty period of ineligibility.
Not learning about your options
When planning for long-term care, it’s crucial to educate yourself about the different options available and speak with a trusted professional about the solutions that will work best for your specific situation. What worked for a family member or friend might not necessarily work for you.
Claim your free copy of Paying for Long-Term Care: The Essential Senior Guidebook.
Planning for everything except long-term care
We all plan ahead for major events, such as weddings, vacations and retirement, but too many people fail to plan ahead for their future long-term care. Unlike other life events, a potential care need could potentially drain all your hard-earned savings in a matter of months. Protect yourself, your loved ones, and your assets by putting a long-term care plan in place now.
Don’t let yourself fall victim to these critical mistakes. Pick up the phone and call (844) 412-4222 to get in touch with the team at Senior Care Counsel. Visit us online to access our FREE educational resources, learn more about who we are, and begin the process of forming a long-term care plan that works for you.