It may be difficult to imagine ourselves in declining health as we get older, but avoiding the subject of aging, and hoping for the best possible outcome may not be the answer. Otherwise known as the “ostrich effect” when applied to how investors may react to falling or flat markets, all of us at one time or another might “bury our heads in the sand,” as we attempt to sidestep certain realities. However, when it comes to the rising costs of long term care, simply having a positive attitude is not the same as planning for your future long term care (LTC) needs. Fortunately, assistance is available to help make this process go more smoothly.
Education and Advocacy
To start, you can contact your state’s Ombudsman Program. The word, “ombudsmen,” is derived from the Swedish language and means “representative.” Under the Federal Older Americans Act, every state is required to have an Ombudsman Program, which is a valuable checkpoint for LTC planning and continuous care.
It is the Ombudsman’s job to provide information to educate the public about finding quality LTC facilities. An Ombudsman also advocates for residents’ rights, helps resolve complaints, and promotes community involvement through volunteering.
The National Long Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center offers support, education, and technical training to the 53 State LTC Ombudsman Programs and their statewide networks of nearly 600 regional programs. To learn more and find a local program in your area, visit www.ltcombudsman.org.
Benefits of LTC Planning
If you should need around-the-clock care, LTC insurance can help cover the expenses of home health care, a nursing home, or assisted living facility. This type of coverage may allow you to remain more independent over a longer period of time, while also expanding your options for care. LTC insurance may also mitigate the financial risk involved with extended care, as well as help manage the burden of uncertainty for you and your family. Further, if you purchase a tax-qualified LTC policy, premium payments may be tax deductible.
Whether you are in your 40s, 50s, or 60s, the time to begin planning is now. Because premiums are based on age and selected benefits, each year that you delay LTC planning could potentially cost you more in the long run. Although many people wish they could postpone the inevitable, the cost-effectiveness of early LTC planning may also help to preserve your assets for future generations. Remember, you are not alone when it comes to LTC planning. Help is available.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
This material contains only general descriptions and is not a solicitation to sell any insurance product or security, nor is it intended as any financial or tax advice. For information about specific insurance needs or situations, contact your insurance agent. This article is intended to assist in educating you about insurance generally and not to provide personal service. They may not take into account your personal characteristics such as budget, assets, risk tolerance, family situation or activities which may affect the type of insurance that would be right for you. In addition, state insurance laws and insurance underwriting rules may affect available coverage and its costs. Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company. If you need more information or would like personal advice you should consult an insurance professional. You may also visit your state’s insurance department for more information.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
This article was prepared by Liberty Publishing, Inc.
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