Have you thought about the cost of healthcare as you grow older? Have you considered the various types of living and long-term-care arrangements that you — or loved ones — might need? Do you have a plan to pay for them? Are your necessary financial, legal and medical documents in order and accessible to those who will need them? Is your estate plan up to date?
These are important questions, but they take on a special resonance and urgency against the backdrop of rising healthcare costs and an aging population.
Among those 70 years old or older who need some assistance with personal care or routine aspects of daily life, the vast majority receives help from family. In fact, according to U.S. Trust’s 2013 Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey, nearly half of all respondents say they provide substantial financial support for adult members of their family. Yet more than two-thirds do not have a financial plan that factors in the needs of any adult family member, other than their spouse or partner. Complicating matters, many of these caregivers are also in the “sandwich generation” — that is, they have children under the age of 18 at home. Not surprisingly, in 2009, more than four out of five younger boomers reported moderate to high levels of stress as a result of responsibilities to provide care for an older family member.1
When it comes to providing care, you can make things easier in several ways:
- Assemble important papers. Gathering, organizing and storing critical financial, legal and medical information — insurance policies, account ownership and trust documents, wills and healthcare proxies, among others — is critical. This can be an emotional process for families, but assembling documents and sharing them with appropriate family members as early as possible can reduce stress and facilitate their handling later.
- Create a care plan. Working with experts to create a care plan can help simplify a complicated process. A plan should help oversee medical care with regard to obtaining referrals for reliable geriatric assessments; assessing long-term health facilities and their entry requirements; finding concierge or personalized healthcare services and eldercare specialists; and providing support for family caregivers, including training and recommendations regarding in-home monitoring technology.
Financial Planning for Longevity, Including Long-Term-Care Planning
Getting old is an expensive proposition, and the older one becomes, the more costly it becomes. With longer life expectancies come increased concerns about health and mobility, retirement income and overall financial well-being. Arrangements for living and mobility are among the key expenditures people over the age of 65 will likely need to fund, at some point in their lives. It can be helpful to seek out financial planning services focused on longevity issues — including budgeting assistance, retirement asset planning, and the provision of longevity and long-term-care insurance.
We created U.S. Trust’s ElderCare Services to address specific planning issues related to aging. We can provide support and guidance to help you make these complex decisions.
1 “Nobody told me there would be days like these,” The Hartford, April 2010.
Any information presented about tax considerations affecting client financial transactions or arrangements is not intended as tax advice and should not be relied upon for the purpose of avoiding any tax penalties. Neither U.S. Trust and its representatives nor its advisors provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Clients should review any planned financial transactions or arrangements that may have tax, accounting or legal implications with their personal professional advisors.
Always consult with your independent attorney, tax advisor, investment manager and insurance agent for final recommendations and before changing or implementing any financial, tax or estate planning strategy.
The 2013 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth® survey is based on a nationwide survey of 711 high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth adults with at least $3 million in investable assets, not including the value of their primary residence. Among respondents, 37% have between $3 million and $5 million in investable assets, 31% have between $5 million and $10 million and 32% have $10 million or more. The survey was conducted online by the independent research firm Phoenix Marketing International in March 2013. Asset information was self-reported by the respondents. Verification for respondent qualification occurred at the panel company, using algorithms in place to ensure consistency of information provided, and was confirmed with questions from the survey itself. All data have been tested for statistical significance at the 95% confidence level.