The thought of paying for their long-term care can create a lot of financial anxiety for many families in New York. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration on Aging, most individuals who are older than 65 will need some form of assistance with daily activities like bathing and dressing for at least a few years in their lives. While many people will be able to get care for free from family members, others will need to pay for caregivers, which can be very expensive.
It can be difficult to accept that sometimes cognitive ability declines with age. However, this is a reality you may need to face, especially if you have received a diagnosis of an age-related cognitive impairment, and you are concerned about preserving your estate. You and other New York residents will rightfully want to keep unscrupulous people from getting ahold of your funds, both to keep you comfortable in your golden years and for the benefit of your heirs.
New York residents who are planning for retirement are generally focused on income streams, managing risk, minimizing tax implications and Social Security. A key aspect of planning for retirement is the inclusion of health care planning. Many financial planners fail to make it a focus in their conversations with prospective clients, but that could be doing them a disservice.
New York residents who are creating or reviewing their estate plan might also want to think about long-term care planning. People may have planned carefully for retirement, but there might still be unexpected costs associated with long-term care. It is estimated that more than two-thirds of people who are now 65 will require long-term care at some point in their lives.
Older veterans and the surviving spouses in New York and the rest of the country may be entitled to certain long-term care benefits to which they may not be aware. These Veterans Administration benefits could help to alleviate some the financial burden brought on by long-term care expenses.
New York residents might not need long-term care when they are in their 50s. However, it's best to plan for such things ahead of time. Those who do need care for an extended period may choose to pay for it themselves, use government benefits or let an insurance policy pay for it. Creating a plan now could make it easier to use any of those strategies in the future.
Two thirds of older Americans in New York and elsewhere have not put away funds for future care expenses. A survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which polled 1,341 Americans, revealed this number.
Recently, you may have begun thinking about advance directives because someone close to you was hospitalized suddenly. Perhaps your brother-in-law was admitted following a stroke. He was unable to speak and was completely dependent on the medical staff to make decisions about his care. His wife, your sister, was concerned about a particular kind of therapy that was prescribed for Jim and wished he could tell the doctors whether he wanted it.
When you find that your elderly parent needs the kind of help you can no longer provide, it may be time to consider a move to an assisted living facility. Your first thought may be about a nearby home, one you have admired because of its beautiful landscaping and colonial architecture. Do not be swayed by outward appearances, however. You need to learn about staffing, costs, and how well your parent will be cared for at this or any other facility. When you begin a serious search for new living arrangements for Mom or Dad, here are five pitfalls to avoid.
Long-term care is a reality that many people may have to face as they age. Individuals living in New York who are concerned about their long-term care or that of elderly loved ones should have a realistic view of what it entails.