retirement planning tallahassee

Planning for Healthcare and Long-Term Care

by John Curry

One of the things I focus on with my clients is planning for healthcare and long-term care services. I find that most people have not given that enough thought. When I ask people what their number one concern is in retirement, they tell me the cost of health insurance and long-term care. Many retirees pay more for health insurance in retirement than they ever paid on the mortgage payments for their home. That’s amazing. We see it on a regular basis. Healthcare costs are out of control and continue to rise. That’s why we’re seeing such a debate about having health insurance for everyone in the United States of America.

Look, I don’t have the answer to this, but I do know many people do not have any health insurance coverage, and that’s wrong. There should be some type of benefit for them. But how do we pay for these things? As baby boomers retire, there’ll be even more of a need for medical services than we’ve ever seen throughout our history.

If we agree that we’re going to live a long life, which we are doing as a society, we also must agree that we’re going to need some type of health care. Where would that care be delivered? Will it be in our home? Will it be in an assisted living facility? A skilled nursing facility? A full-time nursing home? Where will it be delivered. The truth is, very few of us will ever live in a nursing home. Therefore, most of the care is going to come from our families in our own homes or their homes.

In fact, most of the time, it’s our children who have to care for us, and we will have to care for our parents. The big question is how will you pay for these services? Will you take it out of your assets or your parents’ assets? And if you do, how long will those assets last? Will you buy long-term care insurance to take care of that? And if so, how will you structure your long-term care insurance policy?

Many Americans are trying to avoid this conversation. The truth is, long-term care issues impact our entire family. My grandmother was in a nursing home for eleven years. That’s highly unusual, but eleven years is a long time, and I think that we owe it to ourselves and our families to have this discussion as good parents. “If something happens to you and you need care, how will we pay for it?” If you’re the parent, you talk with your adult children. Let them know what your concerns are. Work together as a team. Work together as a family to deal with this issue. Don’t ignore it. It’s too big of an issue. It could bankrupt families.

I hope that you’ll take the time as a family unit and talk about how you would handle healthcare issues, especially long-term care needs in your retirement, because if you don’t do it, you could end up hurting, wrecking your retirement. And as you know, I teach and talk about all the time about enjoying a secure retirement, and if you take care of long-term care planning issues early enough, then you will enjoy a secure retirement.

Health Care & Long Term care are not offered by Guardian or any of its subsidiaries.

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