Don’t Lose Everything to a Nursing Home: Why You Need a Long-Term Care Compass

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We’ve written extensively about the risk of long-term care, but most people don’t want to consider the possibility that they’ll need it. Unfortunately, statistics tell us there’s a 70% chance that you will need long-term care if you’re 65 or older. If that’s surprising to you, it’s because the prevailing strategy for preparing for the cost is to bury one’s head in the sand and do nothing.  

Clearly, that’s not a good strategy, especially given the astronomical cost of long-term care (currently over $7,500 per month on average for a private room). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average length of a nursing home stay is 3 years. If you’re not already running the math, we’ll go ahead and tell you: 36 months x $7,500 = $270,000. That’s a huge expense. 

So why aren’t more people taking a proactive approach? Because traditional financial advisors aren’t equipped with the right tools, resources, and specialized knowledge to offer one. If they do, it’s likely expensive long-term care insurance, at a cost that’s out of reach for many. However, doing nothing, buying insurance you can’t afford, or self-funding—which is only viable for a small percentage of the populationaren’t your only options. In fact, there are many more, which is why we created the Long-Term Care Compass. 

The Long-Term Care Compass helps you explore options, like: 

  • Benefit Programs: Medicare only covers a skilled nursing home stay for 100 days after a hospitalization. But you may be eligible for other benefits through Medicaid, Passport, or Veteran’s benefits.  
  • Accelerated Death Benefits: If you have a life insurance policy that allows for Accelerated Death Benefits, you may be able to take a tax-free advance to help with the cost of care. 
  • Legal Tools: Elder care and estate planning attorneys have many legal tools at their disposal to help you preserve your assets, including an asset protection trust. If set up properly and funded, an asset protection trust can shield your assets from the nursing home. 

That last example underscores the importance of the Long-Term Care Compass. Preparing in advance for the possibility of long-term care is a far less stressful way to address the issue than scrambling to find a solution in the midst of a crisis when your options could be limited. The Long-Term Care Compass provides guidance on the best plan for you and sets the framework, so you’ll be ready if or when the time comes.  

The Long-Term Care Compass is part of our Roadmap for Retirement℠, your comprehensive plan for protecting your retirement. Your personalized Roadmap for Retirement℠ includes the Long-Term Care Compass, a Tax Map to lower your overall tax burden, a Market Flashlight to right-size your market risk, and a Fee Filter to identify how much you’re paying in investment and advisor fees. 

To get your no-charge Roadmap for Retirement℠, click here. 

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