Planning for Long-term Care in California: The Basics
As with many things in retirement and insurance planning, long-term care can be an unpleasant and uncomfortable topic. No one wants to think about struggling with debilitating illness or injury. However, planning now could save you strife down the road.
Regardless of age, anyone could face illnesses or disabilities that require long-term care. For younger people, this might be accidental injuries or car accidents that leave them with difficulties caring for themselves and their families. For retirees, long-term care could be required due to a variety of illnesses.
Fortunately, people are living longer than ever and it is possible to manage these serious problems and continue living your retirement dreams. However, you or your loved ones might still need help dressing, eating, getting around and taking care of personal hygiene. They may also need extra care following surgeries or adverse events.
Almost 70 percent of Americans will need long-term care at some point in their lives, according to the U.S. Administration on Aging. The odds that one spouse in a married couple will need that care exceed 90 percent.
In California, it costs more than $230 per day for the average nursing home stay. By 2037, that number is expected to reach almost $800, according to the Administration on Aging. Homemaker services alone cost about $140 per day now, and that could nearly double by 2037. Even if you just need adult day care, the cost is about $77 per day.
Who Pays for Long-term Care in California?
But if the worst happens, how can you pay for it? The options are many, and the qualified advisors at Safeguard Investments in Corona and Citrus Heights, California, can help you figure out what’s right for your situation.
Long-term Care Insurance
One option we often recommend to retirees and clients planning for retirement is long-term care insurance. This might be available through your job, or you can purchase individual policies. You may also be eligible for life insurance policies that come with long-term care riders.
Another way to fund long-term care is through your personal savings. We often don’t recommend this because, in most cases, paying for long-term care will deplete your savings very quickly. However, depending on your age, medical condition and existing insurance benefits, this might be your best option. Be aware that if you run out of money, your friends and family members may have to pay for your care. If they can’t, they might have to care for you themselves. In 2009 alone in California, families and friends provided about $47 billion worth of unpaid care, according to a report released by The SCAN Foundation.
Health Insurance and Publicly Funded Programs
Depending on your income level and your health, some funding may be available through Medicare or Medicaid. Unfortunately, you usually won’t be eligible for these programs until your assets are almost completely gone. Even with Medigap policies, some out-of-pocket costs are likely to fall back on you. It’s important to note that Medicare will only pay for treatment outside a hospital for up to 100 days.
Contact Financial Advisors with Safeguard Investments
If you need to plan for long-term care, give our experienced advisors a call. We can help you evaluate any existing policies you have and help you determine whether you need additional coverage. We will look at things such as how premiums might change in the future with a variety of policy options and whether pre-existing conditions are covered. We can also look closely at benefit periods and more. We are available for free consultations. Start planning today by filling out this form.
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