How Can Single 76-Year-Old of Modest Means Plan for Long-Term Care?
The blog post on your law firm site on the likelihood of needing long-term care concludes by saying: “The upshot if you’re a Baby Boomer if you are able to do so, factor in the potential need for long-term care into your financial and life plans.” But how does one with modest assets and fixed income, age 76 and still earning part-time, plan for meeting need for long-term care needs? Isn’t Medicaid the only option if you don’t qualify for long-term care insurance?
Yes, but there are a lot of other factors depending on one’s particular circumstances. Most care in fact is provided by family members at no cost (or at least no financial cost to the person receiving the care). Those with family who might provide care can take steps to make it easier for them to do provide care. This often means moving to live near them.
Those without family members to provide care should also considering moving both to reduce costs and to make it easier to age in place. An apartment or condominium is often easier to maintain than a house. A location in a town or city center could reduce or avoid the need to drive. A place without stairs, or at least the option of living in a portion of the dwelling without stairs, may mean the difference between being able to live at home or having to move.
This type of planning, along with continuing to work and save money or at least reduce the draw down of savings, can help stretch your finances and reduce both the cost and disruption when and if you need care.
My friend and colleague Rajiv Nagaich of Life Point Law in Washington state is leading a campaign to set age 75 as the age when Americans make their later-life plans. Most people at age 75 are healthy and cognitively intact, so they’re capable of planning. At that point, they are more likely to be retired and to know their long-term financial situation. If they have children, they’re probably old enough to be settled, which can guide a change of location. All this planning can make a huge difference for you and your family in the future. You can read more about it here.
Rajiv has also developed a program for working through the decisions you will have to make at age 75 called Aging Options.