Should You Plan for Long-Term Care?



We get it; adulting is hard. Taxes, spreadsheets, insurance, retirement, stocks, bonds, good arch support. We know there’s a lot coming at you when you age. So why add another thing to your list of things that could go wrong? Well, planning for long-term care (should you need it) is about planning to make your golden years go the way you want them to. It’s kind of like planning for vacation. You don’t want to get to Disney World and realize all the rooms are full or they’re out of Mickey Mouse waffles. If you plan ahead, and call to make sure there’s a room with your name on it, you’ll be much happier. Stay with us …

So what is long-term care? In a nutshell, long-term care encompasses any sort of help you may require if you are unable to live completely independently. If you’ve ever had surgery and had to sit on the couch recovering, you’ve experienced the need for some form of care. You likely needed help with grocery shopping, meal-making, and household chores. As we age, the need for this type of care naturally increases. So you might as well plan ahead and get what you want!

Long-term care planning includes:

  • Deciding where you will live if you’re unable to live independently. For instance, is your current home age-friendly?
  • Researching the types of care you will need based on different circumstances
  • Creating important legal documents such as a health care power of attorney, a living will, and a do-not-resuscitate order, if that is your wish
  • Determining how you will pay for care
  • We had you at “legal documents” didn’t we? If you’re intimidated by the fun-factor of this list, don’t be! Take your planning one step at a time, and simply start the conversation now. One of the best resources around to help you get started planning is AARP’s resource guide. It makes it super easy to get the ideas flowing, and gives you space to fill out important information that you or your family may need in the years to come.
That’s it! There’s lots to think about, but ultimately it comes down to you planning ahead, setting things into motion, so that you can live the life you want whatever happens. You might not ever need long-term care, but you’ll have a lot more peace knowing that if you do, you got things under control. So the answer you’ve been waiting for … should you plan for long-term care? Yep.