Here’s an eye-opener: a recent survey from the Harris Poll on behalf of One America asked more than 2,000 adults, if they’d had any conversations about long-term care with friends, family members, spouses or partners, health care professionals, financial planners, insurance agents, estate planning attorneys, clergy, accountants or anyone else about preparing for the possibility that at some point they may need long-term care.
Doesn’t sound like anyone was left out here, does it?
Nearly four in 10 people 65 years and older, who you would think would be more aware of this issue, said they had not. The Harris Poll says this response is similar, when asking that same question of American adults.
The problem is this: roughly 70% of all Americans can expect, at some point in their lives, to have a long-term care need, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For 20% of them, conditions like Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, Parkinson’s disease and other chronic conditions will lead to situations where they need long-term care.
Planning ahead for this very likely scenario can make it less of a strain on assets and reduce the burden of care on family members and loved ones.
Not surprisingly, wealthier people are more likely to report having engaged in a long-term planning conversation. However, even of those who do, only a small group have moved forward to have a conversation with a financial planner or insurance agent.
It’s important to have these conversations and take the necessary action without delay, so that assets can be protected, and the correct care can be received without financial pressure.
Asset-based protection is a solution that may be more within reach than most people think. This is a critical conversation to have with the right professionals, especially for people who are near retirement.
This is also a conversation that should be part of your estate planning. Long-term care planning protects the individual, the family and the family’s assets. A good estate planning attorney will address these issues with you. When you meet with your estate planning attorney to create your estate plan, or if you are having regular meetings to review or update your plan, discuss how long-term care is addressed.
Reference: Plan Advisor (Oct. 3, 2018) “Long-Term Care Planning Neglected by Many Older Americans”