As medical technology improves, people are living longer. But just because someone lives a long time doesn’t mean they’ll have a good quality of life. In fact, many medical problems that used to be deadly are now just chronic conditions that require ongoing care. This means that our incredible medical advances are also leading to more people needing long-term care. It’s estimated that over 70% of people who make it past age 65 will need this type of care.
The problem is that long-term care can be very expensive, ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 per month. People have a few options for paying for this care: they can use long-term care insurance, pay out of pocket (which most people can’t afford), or use government benefits like Medicaid. But many people don’t have a plan in place for paying for long-term care, and as a result, they end up using up all their savings and leaving nothing for their loved ones. It’s almost impossible to leave a legacy or help the next generation if you’re “outliving your money.”
The good news is that there are ways to plan ahead and protect your assets from the risks of aging. A well-crafted estate plan can help you avoid exploitation and prepare for the costs of long-term care. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t have an estate plan in place. About 60% of people have no such plan, which means they’re at risk of losing everything they’ve worked for. This is a scary prospect, not only for the Baby Boomer generation, but for future generations as well. If 60% of the population is financially vulnerable as they age, what will our country look like?
The best way to avoid these risks is to have a solid estate plan in place. Everyone should start with the basics, like a General Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, and Last Will and Testament, and then consider more advanced asset protection strategies.