Whenever estate planning and elder law attorneys try to broach the topic of long term care with clients, there’s usually a wall of denial that is struck. This makes it even more important to understand the possibility of the need for long term care and how to approach this with an open mind.

Without appropriate planning opportunities, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for a person who has not considered long term care to have a plan in place that can be activated sooner rather than later. Many people assume that it won’t happen to them, but then realize after having a loved one experience a sudden long-term care event, just how significant this damage can bring.

As a client, there’s a good chance that you are unlikely to bring up the topic on your own, unless you have seen someone close to you suffer in declining health. Death or illness are not easy topics to introduce. However, new research from Fidelity shows that if you choose to retire this year at age 65, you can be expected to come up with approximately $280,000 to pay for your medical expenses and your health care through your retirement. That’s an increase of 75% from the initial estimate from Fidelity in 2002.

If you don’t have long term care insurance, you might be planning on other ways to pay those possible healthcare bills. The biggest mistake most make is in never considering how this might work if an accident or stroke lands them in a facility.

The market for long term care insurance has plummeted recent years, as many companies who establish long term care insurance policies have gone out of business or drastically increased their premiums. Buyers are now getting reduced coverage but paying even more. This makes it all the more important to schedule a consultation directly with an estate planning attorney who has extensive experience in Medicaid long term planning.

Many different baby boomers will need long term care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for example, finds that 7 out of 10 people who are turning age 65 this year will need some form of long term care. The planning default is to take no action, but this can be catastrophic for people who are in need of support and who can benefit from an initial consultation with an estate planning lawyer.

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