A Colorado resident or anyone else turning 65 has a 60 percent chance of needing long-term care. Statistics also indicate that 20 percent of people who reach age 65 spend at least two years in a nursing home. In many cases, people do not prepare because they believe that retirement isn't their most pressing financial priority. However, it is typically worthwhile to to have a long-term health care plan in place.
In addition to being prepared for the future, there may be immediate benefits to doing so. Creating a care plan forces an individual to assess his or her financial situation and account for all current and future assets. It also may spur an individual to create legal directives that may be beneficial if a health emergency arises. Advance planning makes it possible to have more control over how a person is treated.
For example, it may be possible to live at home as opposed to a nursing home after an accident. Making a plan that accounts for future health care needs may take the burden off of other family members. Children don't have to guess as to what their parent's wishes are or keep a parent at home because a nursing home costs too much.
Accounting for the cost of health care may be an essential part of retirement and estate planning. By creating legal directives, an individual may gain more say over how his or her affairs are carried out if that person becomes mentally incapacitated. Additionally, accounting for the cost of care may leave more money available in the estate for future generations. Talking to an estate planning attorney may help an individual understand the potential cost of care and assist with long term care planning to cover those costs.
Source: Colorado, "Long-Term care planning: Colorado options.", September 30, 2014