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McHugh & Macri
Certified Elder Law Attorneys Serving New Jersey Residents since 1978.
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It's never too early to begin long-term care planning

NAELA National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. MEMBER

When a 71-year-old New Jersey found out that her husband's retirement plan didn't include long-term care insurance as they had expected, she knew she had to act. After seeing her parents pass away unhappily, the woman wanted to make sure the she and her spouse were able to plan ahead to make sure her family wouldn't have to make difficult decisions about their health.

The New Jersey couple, who were both retired at the time, decided to buy into a long-term insurance policy with relatively high premiums. Although this created a significant financial impact, she knew that purchasing the plan was worth it. Additionally, the couple was fortunate enough to have enough money in savings. This story serves as a valuable reminder to those who are considering long-term care planning options for themselves or loved ones.

In terms of long-term care insurance, there are several options to suit an individual's needs. Buying into a policy at a younger age is a solid way to both receive lower rates and be proactive about the future.

Of course, purchasing an insurance policy is only one aspect of care planning. It's important to make sure that individuals will have enough funds set aside to take care of their health as they age. Because certain aspects of life are unpredictable, a person may eventually be eligible for Medicaid once available funds are low, which is something else to include in a care plan. No one can be entirely certain what their exact needs will be in their future, but there are ways to thoughtfully plan ahead.

Aging and its effects can be a difficult topic to consider -- especially with loved ones. Although it may be difficult to avoid the emotions attached to long-term care planning, it's important to remember that it's just as much a financial decision as anything else. As such, it can be beneficial to take a measured approach to planning and seek out advice to make sure a plan will truly suit your unique situation.

Source: The New York Times, "Expense and Emotions in Preparing for Long-Term Care," Ann Carrns, March 25, 2013

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