Question: My husband and I had never purchased long term care insurance, since it was too expensive. Now that he has passed away, I am concerned that I might become a burden for my children. Are there any options for me at my age?
Answer: Yes, there are planning steps you can take now. First, check with your local agencies, such as the Area Council on Aging to find out what eldercare services are available in your area. You may find that there are adult day care centers that cost nothing or are very reasonably priced. Next, determine out what the cost of eldercare is in your community. These providers will include home health care agencies, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Prices vary, so survey the market carefully.
Involve your children and inform them of your wishes in the event you need custodial eldercare services, and write down your wishes. Name one of your children or friends that you trust as your eldercare coordinator. As an aside, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney and have a durable power of attorney drafted, as well as a living will.
If you have assets available for possible eldercare expenses, you should designate those as being for that purpose. If you have existing life insurance or annuity policies, it may be possible to leverage those products by re-positioning them into products that can provide enhanced eldercare dollars in the event that you need them. Check with your financial advisor.
Gregory D. Roberts, CFP, CLU, ChFC, CLTC, EA
Aiken, South Carolina 29803