We've juggled career and family. We carry health insurance for when we get sick. We insure our homes against fire and other damage. We insure our cars against accidents that result in injuries or repairs. We have life insurance to help our families carry on. We've put aside as much money as we can in 401(k)s, IRAs, and other plans to provide for a comfortable retirement.
But our planning, as good as it seems, may be incomplete.
A possible gap, which has the potential to deplete years of planning and saving, occurs in the area of long-term care. Health insurance pays for medical expenses, doctors and hospital stays. But as we grow older - and survive previously life-threatening illnesses and conditions - the chances grow that we will require long-term care beyond the scope of current health insurance plans.
We think, and rightfully so, that we will care for our loved ones, and they will care for us. But it's also fair to think that well-meaning caregivers can get in over their heads and require paid help. Maybe home health aides can provide sufficient help to supplement the family's care. Maybe skilled care will be needed, at home or in a long-term care facility. Regardless of the extent of care and where the care is administered, the costs most likely will be higher than expected.
Long-term care insurance can help ease this worry.
So the issue of long-term care planning is about preparation - are you ready?