Don't Neglect Long-Term Care in Retirement Planning
Have you and your spouse or partner talked about how you'll handle it if you ever need help getting in and out of bed, taking a bath and getting dressed, preparing and eating your meals, or other ordinary activities of daily living?
What options would you prefer for your care? (For example, having your spouse or a care professional assist you at home, or moving to an assisted-living facility?) What role will your family members play, and what will their responsibilities be in managing your care? And how will you pay for it if necessary?
If you haven't had this conversation, you're not alone. Only 8 percent of Americans have talked about all these issues with the spouse or partner, and just 5 percent have done it with their adult children.
"The fact is, families don't discuss these issues," said
Age Wave and
-- Uninsured medical expenses and fear of outliving their money are the biggest financial worries Americans face in retirement.
-- The top long-term care anxiety Americans have is being a burden on their family.
-- The overwhelming majority, as shown by the numbers I quoted earlier, have not discussed long-term care with their families.
-- Few financial professionals discuss long-term care with their clients.
-- Confusion, aside from cost, is the biggest barrier to buying long-term care insurance.
"To not have to be a burden on my family is the most important reason for planning," Dychtwald said. Without long-term care insurance or some other way to provide for it, "the burden of care falls on the family."
Long-term care for a loved one "is about getting them out of bed, it's about wiping their face, it's about giving them a bath and reading them the morning paper," Dychtwald said. Providing such care can bring families closer together but can also cause emotional and financial strain on the caregiver, who may have to cut back on working hours or give up her job (most family caregivers are women).
This column is not a commercial for long-term care insurance (there are several ways to plan and provide for long-term care, including self-funding through savings and/or moving to a continuing care or an assisted living facility). It is not a commercial for Genworth (Dychtwald and his wife, for example, bought long-term care insurance policies from another company).
But it is a reminder that long-term care is often a neglected if not entirely forgotten subject in retirement planning - even among many financial professionals. Contrary to what many people believe, long-term care, except for minor exceptions, is not covered by
"I don't believe long-term care is the most important topic in retirement planning," said Dychtwald, a nationally known gerontologist who has followed aging issues since 1974, and recently turned 60. "But it is an essential part of the discussion." For more on this topic, see Web site www.caringtalk.com.
- Flat Tax Is Class Warfare
- Eliminate Tax Brackets and Complicated Forms With Flat Tax
- 10 Problems With the Income Tax
- Save Time Filing Your Taxes
- How to Be a Savvy Cheapskate
- Do You Live in a Frugal State
- How to Keep Your Nest Egg Intact After a Layoff
- Student Loan Crunch May Be Easing
- Don't Neglect Long-Term Care in Retirement Planning
- Disney Interactive Exhibit Teaches Basic Financial Concepts
- These Financial Blogs Are Worth Your Time
- Avoid Tax Trap When Converting Traditional IRA to Roth IRA
- Why Consumers Are Shunning Credit Cards
- How the Health Care Bill Impacts Retirees
- Keeping Adult Children on Your Insurance Policy
- iPad Launch: Perils of the iPad
- Many Americans Still Clueless About Retirement Saving
- How to Avoid the Marriage Tax
- The Challenge of Deducting Medical Expenses
- Health Care Reform Overhaul: What Happens When
- Older Americans Comment on Health Care Reform
- Big Changes Coming to Student Loans
- Affording a Stay-at-home Mom?
- 21 Ways to Cut Expenses in Retirement
- New Frugality Emerging for Retirement
- Gen Y to Banks: Do Better
- Deducting Hobby Expenses: Think Business
- Sadly Bad Advise Abounds on Roth IRA Conversions
- Medigap Plans Cooking Up New Alphabet Soup
- Identity Theft May Be Prelude to More Serious Crime
- Automatic Saving Plans for Emergency & Retirement Funds
- New Tax Provisions Make Filing More Complicated This Year
- Not All 401(k) Plans Are Created Equal
- Time to Prepare Your Will
- Bigger Tax Break for Writing Off Costs of College
- The Secret to Being Poor
- Bad Day? 5 Tips to Keep Your Motivation
- 8 Factors that Determine Your Final 401(k) Balance
- How to Tell if You Are Saving Enough for Retirement
- Financial Help For Women: 5 Effective Strategies
- New Credit Card Rules Triggering More Higher Fees
- Roth Conversion Can Be Good Move, But Consider These Caveats
Personal Finance - Don't Neglect Long-Term Care in Retirement Planning
(c) 2010 Humberto Cruz