As you get closer to retirement, thinking about your long-term care needs is important. Planning now and thinking ahead could save you from worrying later.
What is long-term care?
We’re living longer, which means planning for the inevitabilities of later life is important. Long-term care refers to the support someone (usually an elderly person) needs when they’re no longer able to look after themselves. This could be following, say, a stroke, through a degenerative illness such as dementia or because they’ve become frail due to old age and need help with day-to-day tasks such as cleaning and cooking.
Why do I need to plan for it?
Though you can never be sure if you’ll need long-term care in the future, the best time to plan for it is before you need it. Rising life expectancy and the impact certain medical conditions have on this means there is an increasing need for long-term care. Alongside this, long-term care can be expensive, so whether you need it now or much later in life, thinking ahead could save you from unnecessary financial strain. Planning ahead will also allow you to understand and take into consideration any government help available to you.
How do I choose the right care for me?
This will depend on your individual needs and circumstances. Things like your preferred type of care, where you want to live, what you can afford and the type of medical condition(s) (if this applies) you may have, will all play a part in answering this question. Your local council will be able to carry out an initial assessment of your care needs to help decide on the best care and support for you.
Who can I talk to about long-term care planning?
As well as contacting your local council in the first instance, talking to family and relatives can be helpful. Though this can be a difficult conversation, the sooner you have it the better informed your loved ones will be about your long-term care wishes.
Discussing your later life care concerns with a qualified financial adviser could also help put your mind at ease. A financial adviser will look at things like how to fund your long-term care, the best care option for your needs and how much money you might need for your care. This will allow you to make an informed decision based on your circumstances.
How will I fund my long-term care needs?
Look out for our next post to learn more about the funding options available for long-term care planning. We’ll look at what you need to consider, financially, to get a viable plan in place so you’re prepared for life’s uncertainties.