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What You Need to Know About Elder Care Planning

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As life expectancy has increased, so has the need to manage options and finances during a lengthy retirement. Evaluating living environments to determine where you would prefer to live out your golden years is the first step and should include considerations around proximity to loved ones, type of community or home setting, and access to quality medical care. This is an appropriate time for open discussions with family members about your desires and fears, as well as conversations about what indicators, such as memory issues or auto accidents, should serve as a trigger for reevaluation of your circumstances.

Did you know…?

  • 44 percent of people have been unpaid caregivers in the last year.
  • 20 percent of current 65-year-olds will need more than five years of long-term care support.
  • Women outlive men by about five years on average.

Whether you intend to remain in your home or change residential settings, an honest evaluation of financial resources is necessary. Longer lifespans and fewer traditional pensions have led to an increased reliance on investment portfolios to support cash flow needs regardless of the setting. If remaining at home, determine the costs of any modifications that may be necessary, such as handicap access. The consideration of long-term care costs, including in-home care, may also become necessary. This can then be contrasted with the cost of other residential settings. Medical care costs and the impact of inflation cannot be ignored.

Existing estate planning documents, including wills, revocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, and health care proxies, should be reviewed and updated to ensure they reflect current wishes, including naming appropriate parties in the various fiduciary roles. Download the full article at fidtrustco.com/elder.

3 Tips for Elder Care Planning

1. Evaluate living options. Consider proximity to family, friends, and quality medical care. Review potential costs of options, climate, and accessibility.

2. Establish a financial plan. Estimate range of potential expenses, including long-term care. Evaluate funding sources, including Social Security, savings, trust funds, pensions, and insurance.

3. Update estate documents. Name trusted individuals or firms to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable, including medical, investment management, bill payment, and trustee duties.

Jody R. King, JD, CPA (king@fiduciary-trust.com) is a VP and the director of financial planning at Fiduciary Trust Company. The firm integrates customized financial and estate planning, providing investment management, trust and estate, custody, and tax services. FTC was named a Top Wealth Manager by Mass. Lawyers Weekly readers and has a 98 percent average annual client retention rate.