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As more Americans reach retirement age, there are plenty of financial experts and consultants urging these men and women to plan better for those years. With 401(k)s, investments, bonds, CDs, and more, the emphasis could be solely placed on those endeavors, but something gets missed in the process and that involves long-term care, such as home care services.

Many financial experts warn that by overlooking the prospect of requiring any type of long-term care, either in a nursing home, hospital, or even while remaining in the comfort of one’s own home, it could lead to financial ruin, despite the best laid plans. When people spend time and energy focusing on the prospect of needing some level of help in the years ahead, it will pave the way for them to think more clearly on what will be most advantageous to them if or when the time comes to rely on home care support, for example.

As reported by CBS News’ Steve Vernon in the article, The double whammy of long-term health care costs:

“While all of this might seem depressing, that’s no reason to ignore your better judgement and not plan ahead. As you’re preparing for retirement, you’ll want to incorporate strategies to cover the cost of long-term care for yourself and spouse, if you’re married. This can include buying long-term care insurance and setting aside assets or holding home equity in reserve to pay for care.

In addition, noted Cynthia Hutchins, director of Financial Gerontology for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, “Make sure to review and update relevant legal documents, including a will, an advance medical directive, a durable power of attorney (which designates someone to make legal and financial decisions) and a health care proxy (transferring legal authority for medical decisions).”

Home care agencies and other providers may need to take an initiative about helping those within the community understand how valuable long-term care planning can be. It’s important to help people realize that even though they don’t think they’ll ever need it, more and more seniors today are preferring to remain at home, or age in place, and that may require the support and assistance of a home health care provider or other aide.

Workshops, seminars, and even simple mailers can all provide valuable resources and information to those within the community, especially if they can be isolated by age group or other demographics.

When people are simply not thinking they would ever need a home care aide or other caregiver, they could lack the crucial understanding about why long-term care planning is such a valuable asset in today’s economic environment.

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