As you plan for retirement, you will probably focus quite a bit on the financial side of things. You picture your life looking pretty much the same as it does now, except without your job and with a lot more free time.
Hopefully, everything will go according to your plans. But because health problems become increasingly more common as we age, we should all consider things like the cost of healthcare and potential changes to our lifestyles (due to illness or injury).
In particular, what would you do about long term nursing care if you need it? Most people assume that Medicare will pick up the bill, but this is a common misconception. In most cases, Medicare covers very little or none of the bill, leaving retirees to figure out how to to pay for these services themselves.
Here’s some good news…
The Federal Employee benefits package offers you long term care coverage with unlimited lifetime coverage. This means you would never outlive your benefit.
It might surprise you to know that this coverage is only available to Federal Employees and their immediate families. The general public is not eligible.
But be aware of this…
There is no guarantee that the coverage will be an option forever, as plans and packages can and do change. In addition, the older you are when you buy the coverage, the more expensive it gets.
Therefore, it makes a great deal of sense to consider Long Term Care (LTC) benefits as soon as you begin the retirement planning process – even if you are still working.
Here’s just an example of what LTC can cost. It illustrates how valuable your benefits have become:
- Home nursing care can cost between 15 dollars per hour to 24 dollars per hour depending on where you live. Keep in mind that you might need care 24 hours per day.
- A home health aide, who visits you six hours per day, costs an average of $29,640 annually. Again, this figure can vary depending upon location, and depending upon how many hours of help you need daily.
- A semi-private room in a nursing home can cost between $148 per day and $462 per day.
- While some people do rely upon family in times of need, the cost of in-home care by a family member can be difficult to calculate. Consider the financial impact upon a person who must quit their job or change jobs to accommodate a caregiving schedule.
As you can see, long-term nursing care isn’t cheap! It’s also impossible to predict how long you might need care; for some, only a few months is needed, while others require personal assistance for a period of years.
As you approach retirement, this is a factor to consider. We can help you to understand your options. Give us a call if you have questions or would like more information.