One of the most important issues for all of us is managing our affairs for longevity. Many elderly today did not plan to live so long; they did not consider if their assets would last well into their 90’s, or what their needs would be. Today the baby boomer generation may live past age 100 and our children and grandchildren as well. Living longer has wonderful benefits, but the challenges of managing our health care can be devastating for you and your family if a plan is not in place. Even though health care
in our lifetimes will most likely be our largest expense, second to our home, very few of us spend the time planning for it until something urgent happens. If you have not had a serious conversation about how the cost of your health care may affect your quality of life, maybe today is the time to do so!
For those under 65 (not on Medicare), you will experience the greatest shift in cost to cover you and your family for healthcare. Companies will start to shift more and more costs to their employees, and with current government deficits, you may not be able to rely on our Medicare program like we know it today. In fact for people who are 65, Medicare is only covering about 51 percent of their health care costs .
The other myth about Medicare is that it covers long-term care costs. Medicare may pay a portion of up to 150 days of hospital insurance (inpatient, skilled nursing, home health, hospice); after that you are on your own!
Your financial advisor may help you complete a health care assessment to estimate future health care costs including long term care costs. A plan should be designed and integrated with your financial plan. The key is to have your own personal strategy in place so you are not surprised by what the future may bring, and worse yet, lose the quality of your life.
There are many health care strategies that one may utilize, including; 1) developing your own “bucket” of assets for health care needs, just like you would do for retirement, travel, education etc. 2) purchase or convert your old life insurance contracts to a long term care insurance “hybrid” policy 3) consider purchasing long term care insurance or 4) do your homework on a continuing care community, where your lifetime care may be provided to you as your needs arise. Each option takes time to understand and to decide which is best for your situation, and because everyone is so unique, each and every plan should be personalized.
Your financial advisor can educate you on the opportunities available, how each plan may affect your financial affairs, and help guide you to create a health care strategy that you are comfortable with. Like almost everything in life, planning ahead can make a huge impact on the quality of your health and your lifestyle! The bottom line, if you have not already, make a point to focus on your health care and develop a plan no matter what age you are!
Jill Ciccarelli Rappswww.CAS MoneyMatters.com
Jill Ciccarelli Rapps, CFP® is Vice President of
Ciccarelli Advisory Services Inc., a Family Focused Wealth
Management Firm in Florida and New York.
Ciccarelli Advisory Services, Inc. is located at 9601
Tamiami Trail North, Naples, FL (239.262.6577)
Investment advisory services offered through Ciccarelli
Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser
independent of FSC Securities Corporation. Securities and
additional investment advisory services offered through
FSC Securities Corporation, member FINRA /SIP C and a
registered investment adviser.
The views expressed in this article may not reflect the
views of FSC Securities Corporation.
1(Fonstin, Paul. “Savings Needed to Fund Health Insurance and Health Care
Expenses in Retirement. Findings from a Simulation Model\ EBRI ”. Employee
Benefit Research Institute\EBRI . May 2008. The official U.S. government
Medicare Handbook. The official U.S. government Medicare Handbook, Medicare
& You, 2013.