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Why it's necessary to plan for long-term care needs today

According to Key Private Bank, less than 25 percent of clients with a high net worth have long-term care plans in place. For the purposes of the study, a Georgia resident would qualify as high net worth if he or she had more than $1 million in assets. One of the challenges of planning for long-term care needs is that individuals may also be trying to save for a house or other long-term expenses.

Another challenge is that some people assume ignoring the issue will make it go away. However, a good plan will align a person's long-term care goals with their overall lifestyle goals. For example, it may be possible to ensure that an individual is able to stay in his or her home while receiving treatment. It may also be possible to develop a plan that would allow a person to stay with friends or family members.

In the Key Private Bank study, these were the most popular options for people who were beginning the process of accounting for their own care needs. One of the most important reasons to account for future care needs today is because the costs are expected to grow significantly by 2027. By then, a private room in a nursing home will have a median cost of $130,971. This is up from $97,455 in 2007.

It may not be practical to predict what a person's medical needs may be 10 to 20 years in the future. However, it can be worthwhile to develop a plan that will allow an individual to pay for the cost of medication or the cost of staying in a nursing home. A life insurance policy, long-term care insurance policy or trust drafted by an attorney may help provide financial resources to those who need extended care as they get older.

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