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A couple deciding when to plan for long term care

As we age, the need for long-term care becomes more of a what and when than an if. High healthcare costs do not align with older Jacksonville residents’ fixed income, which raises concerns about affordability and accessibility. With the right estate planning tools, you can prepare for the long-term care you may need and prefer in your senior years.  This article explains the need for long-term care planning, key factors for when to start planning, and how estate planning can help ensure seniors are prepared for the future.

The Need for Long-Term Care: Why Is Affordability a Concern for Most Jacksonville Seniors?

Needing long-term care is a reality for most of the aging population. Individuals 65 or older are 70% more likely to require long-term care services, according to Central Trust Company’s article, “The Long-Term Care Quandary: Paying for Skilled Nursing Care,” which has significant financial implications. Fixed income from Social Security, retirement account distributions, or pensions do not typically cover living expenses, healthcare and skilled nursing care costs. Long-term care planning strategies help to bridge the gap between income shortfalls and healthcare/long-term care needs.

Key Indicators to Start Long-Term Care Planning

In his video, “When Is the Right Time to Start Long-Term Care Planning?” Jacksonville Estate Lawyer Bill O’Leary outlines the characteristics he recommends his Jacksonville clients look for to start this type of planning.

Middle Age: The ideal time to start focusing on long-term care planning is in your 50s and 60s. These decades allow for more flexible planning and the opportunity to invest in long-term care insurance before premiums rise significantly.

Health Changes: The onset of chronic health conditions or a family history of health issues like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s should prompt you to look into long-term care planning.

Financial Readiness: Evaluating your future income options based on your pension and retirement plans as well as Social Security will help you consider a budget available for anticipated long-term care costs and how you will manage them.

Starting the long-term care planning process early offers the advantage of more choices and the ability to secure care at a lower cost. Early planning makes the process easier to manage and less overwhelming. Read more in our article, What Is Long-Term Care?

How Can Estate Planning Help Plan for Long-Term Care?

Given high costs, limited income, and few supplemental options, Florida seniors can turn to estate planning strategies to proactively plan for their long-term care. Estate planning that addresses expenses and assistance program eligibility can build, protect, and preserve the wealth needed to afford skilled nursing care. Working with an experienced estate planning team like Legacy Planning Law Group can help you anticipate challenges and provide tools such as irrevocable trusts puts you on a path toward improved financial security and long-term care.

Components of Long-Term Care Planning

Assessment of Needs: Determine your potential future healthcare needs based on family history and personal health.

Financial Planning: Prepare for the cost of different long-term care options and how to cover these expenses.

Legal Preparation: Set up important legal documents like wills, living trusts, and advanced healthcare directives.

Insurance Options: Consider long-term care insurance or hybrid policies to help cover care costs.

Investing in long-term care insurance is a decision that should be made as part of your broader long-term care planning strategy. The right time to buy a policy is when you are in good health and before retirement, ideally when premiums are lower and eligibility is easier. Read more in our article, How Life Insurance and Trusts Provide Can Financial Security

Start Long-Term Care Planning Early

Effective long-term care planning is proactive, comprehensive, and adaptive. It’s about ensuring the best quality of life for yourself and your loved ones. As long-term care needs increase and costs rise, estate planning strategies to grow and preserve your money become a top priority. A proactive plan can prepare you for long-term care in a skilled nursing facility with less stress. Schedule a Discovery Call with Team Legacy to explore personalized long-term care planning solutions tailored to your needs and preferences.

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