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Willy Wonka and long-term care lessons learned

There are many issues for Texas residents to consider when planning for retirement. Although they are expensive, long\-term care policies are valid options for individuals to consider in investment portfolios. A tax professor who also advises on retirement and estate planning recently shared his thoughts on how a scene from a popular children's book/movie confirmed the importance of long-term care insurance policies. He shared the details of a scene from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (or the original, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory") involving Charlie and his grandparents.

Charlie's grandparents all live in his home and require active care from family members. The professor noted that the scenes depict a different era, but there are lessons investors today can learn. First, statistics show that adults aged 65 and older will need some form of long-term care assistance. Whether it is temporary or for an extended time, the demand for these types of services will increase as the population gets older.

As in the book/movie, family members are the ones to shoulder the burden of caregiving. It is estimated that almost 80 percent of care is provided informally by unpaid family members. The professor observed that the likely caregiver is a full-time working woman. The additional stress of caring for elderly family members can quickly take a toll on a working woman's finances, job and health.

It was noted that care for the elderly is a major financial consideration for family members, whether the services are paid or unpaid. Those unpaid individuals providing long-term care may no longer be able to work and this can have an adverse impact on a family's budget. Finally, the professor stressed that someone without a plan in place would have to depend on charity or luck. After Charlie won his golden ticket, his family was much better off financially and could better their situation. However, the reality is financial security of a family should not be left to chance.

Texas residents concerned with properly protecting their investments and their families often turn to a lawyer familiar with long-term care issues. An attorney experienced in estate and retirement planning can help investors investigate available options and adequately prepare for their futures. A qualified legal team can help individuals put a plan in place best suited to his or her specific needs.

Source: Forbes, "5 Long-Term Care Planning Lessons From 'Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory'", Jamie Hopkins, Feb. 14, 2017

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