Planning for Long-term Care

William Suplee |

Planning for long-term care is something that needs to be done for ourselves and sometimes our parents as we age. The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that 69% of people will need one or more type of long-term care services. Most of the time, this is provided by friends or family but in 42% of the time, this will be through paid care providers. Roughly ⅓ of the time, this will be in a nursing care facility.

The reality is that most people don’t need long-term care services for a protracted period of time, with the vast majority of services provided for in under 90 days. This is something that can be covered through Medicare, however, it’s when you need longer periods of care, it takes some planning to make sure you have the resources or the insurance to provide for that.

Long-term care planning also has different implications for men and women. Statistically, men are more likely to die suddenly than women and women tend to have health conditions that are chronic and of a longer nature. This is something that’s very important to consider when healthcare planning. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 21% of men have long-term care needs of two years or more and 30% of women have long-term care needs in excess of two years. But what is shocking is that 18% of women have long-term care needs in excess of five years!

This can create tremendous financial burdens and should be planned for on a continuous basis as you age and as we deal with shifting healthcare laws, insurance products, medical treatments, and financial conditions.