According to the U.S. Census, by 2035, older generations are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. This begs the question: who will take care of this aging population?
Retirement care – whether at home or in a facility, due to injury, chronic illness, or decline in physical or cognitive function – is an urgent issue you need to plan for and address. You or your loved ones may need ongoing care in retirement from a home healthcare provider, in an assisted living facility or a nursing home.
Retirement care should be a thoughtful part of your holistic retirement plan. It could influence where you choose to live, the type of home you choose to age in and investments you may eventually need to make to stay in your home. Retirement care needs to be part of your planning conversations from the start and revisited often, as expectations and circumstances do change.
However, discussing retirement care with loved ones can be challenging. Here are three tips to help you communicate your retirement care preferences:
Know what you don’t know.
Developing a plan for retirement care can be overwhelming. There are many resources, including talking to an expert like a financial advisor. These professionals can help you evaluate caregiving preparations and assess costs and other financial implications that will provide peace of mind for the whole family. Financial advisers are a great resource because they can help you create a personalized savings plan for retirement care and can identify any knowledge gaps. It’s never too late to seek insight and develop a better understanding of your financial plan and current health care coverage to anticipate unforeseen situations in the future.
Sharing is caring – communicate the basics.
While your loved ones may not need to know all the specifics, you can help ease their worry by sharing your general plan for retirement—including retirement care. It’s important to share information with your loved ones about your assets, debts and other sources of income as they may be expected to handle your finances should your health decline.Encourage your loved ones to start learning about subjects such as Medicare, living wills and powers of attorney. For instance, more than half (56%) of Boomers mistakenly believe that Medicare will pay for their ongoing retirement care. In truth, Medicare does not pay for ongoing retirement care.
Put it in perspective.
If you prefer to age in your home, you’re not alone! When faced with the prospect of retirement care, more than half of Boomers (65%) would prefer to age in place in their current residence with or without modifications, according to the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement. Although your loved ones may have concerns about your ability to age in place, by showing that you’ve put thought into addressing the costs and potential caregiving needs, your loved ones can feel secure knowing that you have a plan.
It is common for loved ones to suggest a plan based on what they think is best for you, but only you know how you want to experience retirement and how you would prefer to be cared for at the end of your life.
While facing the prospect of needing retirement care can be tough, it is critical that you and your loved ones are on the same page and are adequately prepared.
- Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement, Retirement Care Realities for Middle-Income Boomers U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
This article provides general, educational information and does not provide legal, tax or investment advice. Nothing in this article is intended to be a solicitation of insurance in any jurisdiction. Its purpose is the promotion of interest in Bankers Life and insurance in general. Any inquiries regarding the possible purchase of an insurance policy will be directed to a licensed insurance agent/producer, in which event an insurance agent/producer may contact you.