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How To Include Long-Term Care in Your Retirement Planning

BECU Investment Services

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Planning for Long-Term Care

Comprehensive planning for long-term care is an important part of retirement planning. It requires an examination of your current financial resources and then taking steps toward methods that will help you address your future needs. Overlooking long-term care or making assumptions that could impact your long-term care plan (such as a longer life expectancy) may leave you unprepared for changes in your financial situation and potentially negatively impact your savings, investments, and your loved ones during a time when you are vulnerable and in need of help.

Know Your Options

With proper planning and research or professional guidance, you can put together a long-term care plan that may help provide you with financial independence while preserving your family's quality of life.1 There are several options you might consider as you assess your future needs and create your long-term care plan, with pros and cons to each. A financial advisor at BECU Investment Services can also help you navigate the planning process and explore all your options. Here are some options you may consider:

1. Self-Insure

If your savings is large enough, you could pay out of pocket for any long-term care you may need in the future.2 While this approach may keep your loved ones from paying into the costs of your care needs, the costs could vary depending on how long you need care and may impact your essential funds or the legacy you leave to your loved ones.3

2. Plan For a Loved One To Take Care of You

Making plans for later in life is a gift that could continually help your children navigate the challenges of their parents' increasing age and needs.4 Children often bear the responsibility of taking care of loved ones, but this often puts a heavy strain on them and may require them to adjust their career path or other responsibilities. If you and your loved ones decide that this is the best option, consider looking into additional options that could help reduce that financial and emotional burden. There are also resources available to help children and loved ones understand what they might expect when caring for aging parents.

3. Use the Coverage Provided by Medicare

If you're looking for ways to pay for your long-term care needs, you may check to see if you qualify for coverage through Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare coverage is paid by Medicaid once you've exhausted most of your own financial resources.5

4. Consider Long-Term Care Insurance

There are many variations of long-term care insurance designed to fit your individual needs. BECU Investment Services offers informational resources, webinars and personalized services to help you plan your long-term care so you may be confident well before retirement and beyond.

Getting Started

Regardless of how you choose to plan for long-term care, weighing your options ahead of time may help create a smoother path to get the help you need in the future. Planning long-term care for yourself doesn't only benefit you: It benefits your loved ones by helping provide the peace of mind that your needs may be met throughout your life.

Contact BECU Investment Services today to discuss the role long-term care can play in your overall financial strategy. Whether you want to review your options or see if you might need something new, we are here to help. Set up a complimentary consultation or call 206-439-5720.

Sources:
1. “Long-term care planning.” Lincoln Financial Group.
2. Marotta, David John. “How To Self-Insure For Long-Term Care Health Expenses (2022),” Forbes, May 31, 2022.
3. Luebrecht, Rebecca. “Should You Self-Insure Your Long-Term Care?” Benson Financial Group, July 5, 2023.
4. “How long-term care planning can help your loved ones.” Fidelity Viewpoints. Fidelity, March 27, 2024.
5. “Medicare and long-term care.” Washington State Health Care Authority, February 12, 2024.

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