If you got into an accident or developed a medical condition that meant you couldn’t take care of yourself, who would help you? Most people haven’t thought through this and end up relying on family members in the short term. But what if you really need the support and care that can only be provided by a nursing home?

Given that over 60% of adults above age 65 will eventually need some type of long term care services like assisted living and home care or nursing home care, you can’t afford to neglect long term care as part of your bigger financial picture. It is certainly the case that people who are younger are not concerned about the possibility of going into a nursing home as much as those who are above retirement age.

However, many experts recommend thinking about how you’ll pay for long term care well in advance. That’s because just one long term care event could decimate your entire savings. Elder care is extremely expensive with the national annual median cost of a private room in a nursing home topping over $100,000 in 2018.

The general rule of thumb has been for people to start thinking about purchasing additional LTC coverage in the form of an insurance policy around age 55. However, it’s very possible that you could end up in a nursing home or needing that form of support younger than that.

A traditional long term care insurance policy will cover the cost for a certain amount of time generally up to 6 years. This is usually paid out in a monthly cash benefit and some policies also offer inflation protection. It can be expensive to purchase long term care but it can be a great way to safeguard yourself if you are not able to qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is another estate planning option for you that should be discussed directly with a Pasadena estate lawyer.       

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