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Ignoring long-term care planning may result in future crisis

There may be a crisis brewing here in Texas and throughout the country based on statistics that indicate that a large majority of people are letting the task of long-term care go to the proverbial wayside. The potential crisis is suggested by statistics that say that most people approaching retirement today will need long-term care planning in the future. This means that a great majority of retired persons are going to need vital life-saving services in the future; unfortunately, a great majority of them are apparently doing nothing about it.

Indeed, it is commonly suggested that 97 percent of people will need long-term care services during their lifetime. Although that may be an exaggerated figure, it is nonetheless advisable for those potentially affected persons and their families to see these statistics as sounding an ominous warning. According to experts in the field, ignoring long-term care planning may result in one becoming a statistic who is suffering the consequences of not having planned in advance.

The average term of care that will be needed is 2.2 years for men and 3.7 years for women, according to one authoritative study. These points all coalesce to one conclusion: a lot of people in their retirement years, along with many just approaching that time, need to seriously consider taking action for long-term care planning. This must be done to protect themselves from a lack of care in the future, or perhaps worse, having to suffer under a service provider or an institution that delivers inferior or even potentially abusive care.

Things like Medicaid planning, long-term care insurance, family home care designations, possible retirement community living and an array of other issues are on the table for people in Texas to start discussing with their professional advisers and beloved family members. If the person has an estate planning attorney, a consultation is advisable to review what should be put into place at this time. Of course, the plan for one person will not likely be helpful for the next person. Each plan will be uniquely designed for the individual and for his or her particular set of circumstances.

Source: forbes.com, "Costs and Incidence of Long-Term Care", Wade Pfau, Jan. 5, 2016

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