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Paying for Long-Term Care: 6 Retirement Questions to Ask

Seniors reviewing retirement plans - long term care

Visit your cell phone’s app store, and you’ll find dozens upon dozens of apps that let you count down the years, months, days and hours until your retirement.

For some people, it’s a cause for celebration: You did it! You can finally take it easy.

But for other people, the countdown to retirement only leaves them feeling uneasy. With retirement comes the big Retirement Questions: What will I do? Where will I live? What if I get sick and need long term care? How am I going to be paying for long-term care in retirement?

It’s normal to have these questions, and a good idea to address them sooner rather than later.

The National Aging in Place Council lists six things you should ask yourself about planning for and paying for long-term care after you retire. Knowing the answers to these retirement questions can be vital in helping you figure out how and where you’ll spend your golden years.

Long term care1. How likely is it that you’ll need long-term care?

We realize this isn’t something you can predict with any certainty, but your chances of needing long-term care increase if you have a family history of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, if you’re currently battling a chronic illness or if you live too far from your loved ones to rely on them as caregivers.

2. Now that you’ve retired, what changes can you make to your lifestyle that will reduce your need for long-term care?

Seniors statying active

These lifestyle changes can include getting more exercise and beginning daily meditation. Regular workouts – 30 minutes a day – can help prevent strokes and heart attacks, while meditation lets you manage stress and anxiety, which in turn helps defer the onset of dementia.

3. Do you plan to modify your home?

If you’re focused on aging in place, you may need to make some changes to your home to allow you to continue living there.

Elite indoor curve stair lift“Even if you don’t need long-term care, your home will likely need several modifications to ensure you live safely and independently,” writes the Aging in Place Council’s Jim McKinley. “Plan for changes you might need to make if you have two stories, a large backyard, narrow hallways and poor lighting.”

But what if you do need long-term care? How will you pay for it? The expenses can vary depending on your needs. Look at your finances and ask yourself:

Senior woman discussing selling life insurance policy4. Can you sell a life insurance policy?

Selling a life insurance policy might provide you with the cash you need to pay for some –

or even all – of the daily expenses connected to long-term care, from home modifications to medical equipment to hiring a caregiver.

5. When will you retire?

This is perhaps the most important of all the retirement questions: when will your retirement begin? When you know the answer to this question, you can plan your budget for the future and determine what kind of financial cushion you’ll need to pay for long-term care. If that cushion doesn’t seem big enough, McKinley writes, think about starting a 401(k) or other savings account just to cover these costs.

6. What can I expect Medicare to cover?

MedicareMedicare will cover some things – tests, equipment, medical services – but, it does not cover paying for long-term care. It is not a magic bullet for health insurance. You may want to consider buying supplemental insurance to help cover out-of-pocket costs and deductibles.

Are you searching for ways to make your home a more livable, comfortable place when you retire? Turn to Pennsylvania Stairlifts. Our stair lifts are designed to help you age in place safely. Contact us today to learn how we can help you enjoy your home after you retire.

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