In his January 12, 2016 Forbes column, Wade Pfau describes why Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance do not pay for long-term care (LTC). This column describes what can and often does happen, financially and psychologically, even to highly affluent people, when LTC planning is ignored and people wind up self funding for LTC with personal assets.
Mr. Pfau has heart. He gives us facts, but he also shares accurate human insights. He wisely urges people to prepare now for their last years, and to share their plans with those they most trust.
This piece is accurate, accessible and concise.
He states, “For self funding, ask yourself if you have sufficient financial resources to cover an expensive long-term care shock and still meet the remaining financial goals for retirement. Which specific resources could be used for long-term care expenses? How will they be invested? What impact would these expenditures have on the standard of living for remaining household members and potential beneficiaries? Is this a risk that can be accepted, or could insurance provide a positive impact by helping pool this risk?”
“Self funding could force an individual to rely more greatly on family care, which introduces a number of potential opportunity costs not included in formal cost calculations. Caregivers often experience increased stress and health problems, and they could be forced to make sacrifices in their careers that could result in substantially reduced lifetime earnings. The health problems created by providing long-term care could potentially result in the caregiver needing long-term care for themselves as well.”