Obstacles to Consider in Elder Care Planning

by Brian Pirri | Aug 23, 2017

elder care planning

Elder care planning, which is also referred to as long-term care planning, requires a well-rounded strategy with close attention to detail in order to be successfully implemented when the time comes for others to take care of your personal needs. New England Investment and Retirement Group has previously discussed the importance of planning for long-term care, and there are complications that sometimes arise during this type of planning that can be avoided if addressed ahead of time.

Failure to properly compile and organize financial information

During planning for senior care, a number of people are going to need information- and lots of it. Medicare, insurance agencies, and family members will need to know your financial status: your assets, how much you’ve saved, and the bills you need to pay are just a few of the specifics that need to be known during planning. It’s important to make sure your records are orderly, complete and easily accessible to qualified planners, insurance agencies and trusted family members.

Underestimating long-term care costs

While health care costs are often unpredictable, it’s important to have a clear general estimate of how much money should be set aside for your specific elder care plan, whether it’s family-provided care, moving to an assisted living facility, paying for in-home personal care, or a full time nursing home.  Elder care costs vary by location, and Medicare does not usually cover a large share of elder care expenses. In-depth research and comparisons of these services is incredibly valuable in determining your future costs. If you have a wealth management advisor, he or she will be able to serve you better if you’re clear about your expectations and have well-researched budget estimates handy.

Gaps in health care coverage

A study from the American Institute for Research’s Center on Aging suggests that the process for seniors transitioning from traditional employer plans or other plans to Medicare can be a significant hurdle. Kathryn Paez, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the American Institute for Research, said that “Seniors who take a wrong turn through the Medicare enrollment maze can face coverage gaps, disrupted care, large out-of-pocket costs, and lifelong late-enrollment penalties.” These costs can disrupt planning for elder care, so it’s vital to be aware of Medicare’s complexities.

“Elder Orphans” are more vulnerable than seniors with a close-knit family network

A recent article by AARP discussed “elder orphans,” a name designated for aging people who do not have family members to help provide care. AARP recommends that people in this situation plan accordingly as soon as possible, which includes examining solutions such as communal living, relocating to an area where care is more accessible, and establishing a support network.

While some complications of elder care planning are out of our control, we may be able to deflect some of them through proper record-keeping and appropriate research. A discussion with financial advisors can also help with awareness of obstacles to understand and avoid.