Daily Dupaco

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Taking the first step: Planning for long-term care

If you found out today that a loved one had to move in with your family due to health complications, would you be prepared?

Providing long-term care and financial assistance to aging parents is becoming more and more common, according to the ongoing NPR series "Family Matters: The Money Squeeze."

In fact, nearly 10 million adult children are caring for aging parents, the MetLife Mature Market Institute reports. Yet only 13 percent of U.S. workers surveyed for the 2011 Aflac WorkForces Report believe that the need for long-term care would affect their families.

But aging is inevitable, and it's important to plan for the costs associated with it. 

Whether it is in-home care or assisted living or nursing home care, there's a pretty good probability that most of us will need some sort of assistance.

Consider this as you plan for your own - or a loved one's - long-term care:

  • Start planning as early as possible. For younger adults, that means contributing to your employer's 401(k) program and talking with a financial planner about other investment options. As you reach your mid-50s, start looking into long-term care insurance, which is typically less expensive to purchase when you're younger.
  • Know that there are many resources available in your community to help you through life's later transitions. The Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging can put you in touch with a variety of resources.
  • Make communication and encouragement a priority for your family. Keep everyone informed about important updates regarding a family member's health status.

By Emily Kittle

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