You either have a loved one facing a long-term care situation or want to preserve your legacy and have it go to your family rather than a nursing home. There is a lot to figure out. How likely are you to actually need Long-Term Care? How much does Long-Term Care normally cost? What is the Pension Protection Act? Keep reading to learn how to move things forward and provide affordable care for your loved one. Here are the detailed steps for long term care from C.E.O John T. Davis of America United Wealth Planning.
Step 1: What are the Family Goals?
“First things first, you want to have a professional retirement planning advisor talk to you, and help lay out what the family’s goals are for their loved one.” said John. “There are a few terms that will come into play.”
Here’s some of what needs to be reviewed:
Your Loved One’s ADLs:
ADL standards for Activities of Daily Living. These are just routine daily activities, like eating, bathing, getting out of bed, and so forth. By knowing these, its possible to start figuring out:
- What level of care is needed.
- How much it will likely cost.
- What programs your loved one is likely to qualify for.
How Important is Respite Care?:
Even the most devoted child or spouse, deserves a break from caring for an ailing loved one. Respite care pays for a qualified professional to provide care for your loved one, providing the family member caregiver with a temporary break (respite) from those duties.
Aid and Attendance:
This is one of many possible state or federal programs that a loved one can qualify for. Aid and Attendance provides income for a family members long-term care needs, if that family member served in the military during wartime. Check with a professional to see if your loved one will qualify, or qualify under a different program.
“We use these criteria to assess what goals we need to meet in our long-term care planning,” said John. “In some cases, it may not be possible to qualify for traditional long-term care programs due to ADLs. For example, if there is a history of certain medical conditions, it may not be possible to qualify for traditional long-term care policies.”
“There are also some cases where traditional insurance options won’t work at all” added John. “A family with whom I recently met had a loved one who already was showing signs of serious disability. After doing some calculations, we determined that there were no traditional long-term care programs she could take advantage of. In these situations we needed to explore the option of looking at pension protection care plans to fund her care.”
Step 2: What Care Options Make Sense?
After we’ve worked out your family goals, you’ll have a better idea of what your care options are. When it comes to long-term care options, you have a few options – traditional monthly payment long-term care insurance, pension protection long term care plans that produce a stream of income used for care needs, or a lump sum insurance policy.
“If monthly payments aren’t an option, there are still options. Most Pension Protection Plan long-term care programs allow the family to create a money fund, that grows monthly, and pays out a certain amount to be used for medical care.” said John.
If you loved one really needs a long-term care program but can’t qualify for a traditional one, all is not lost.
“You can always look at lump sum programs, which are easy to qualify for,” noted John. “However, the terms of those programs tend to favor the insurance companies issuing them heavily, and the client should be very careful before choosing one of those programs. Expert advice is recommended.”
Step 3: Take Into Account Legal Documents
One last thing to consider before settling on a long-term care program, is making sure you have the proper living legal documents in place for your loved one. Documents like a working Power of Attorney for Finance and Power of Attorney for Health, is essential to make sure that someone will have the legal authority to make sure that these income streams are directed in a way that provides the care and comfort your loved one deserves.
“You want to avoid conflicts over how medical finances should be applied,” said John. “Helping a loved one shouldn’t become a source of family conflict.”
Now that you are armed with the information you need to get started, set up an appointment with John to see what’s possible. You can also gather more ideas and information by following America United Wealth Planning on Facebook. Or, take a deeper dive into your retirement planning questions by registering to attend an upcoming workshops.
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