I am often struck by the difficulty people have when it comes to discussing financial planning issues with family members. But looking ahead to how you can ensure the best possible care for someone who is no longer able to live on their own will be one of the smartest decisions you make. Often times it’s a fall, accident or diagnosis that may trigger the discussion—which may prove to be too little too late. Consider these suggestions when looking ahead to future care.
• Consider the needs of a loved one: How does the senior in your life want to spend their later years? In-home care, like the services provided by FirstLight Home Care, are a viable option for those looking to age in their homes. Other options, such as assisted living facilities or retirement communities, can skew much higher in cost—something family members will have to consider as a loved one ages.
• Invest in long-term care insurance: Start early. Coverage for a healthy 50-year-old can cost just over $1,300 a year while someone in his or her 70s can pay nearly $6,500 per year. Planning ahead saves everyone money in the long run.
• Options for creating a will: Having a will is a basic start, but a living trust has also become an increasingly popular option because it gives a person more control over the managing of assets. These documents can all be passed along to a spouse, children or other heirs to avoid attorney fees.
• Reverse the mortgage: Instead of making payments to a lender, let the lender make direct payments to the person or family responsible for care through a reverse mortgage. The practice is increasingly popular, especially for those requiring home care.
While starting the conversation may not be easy, planning can be—with enough foresight. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!