What Happens When You Don’t Plan for Elder Care?
One of the biggest goals I have for my book, and for the articles I write (like this one), is to motivate senior citizens and their adult children to think about the future. Elder care isn’t a fun topic, and most of us don’t want to consider what will happen if we lose our mobility or are impacted by dementia. And we certainly don’t want to think about death. But the facts of life are what they are, and we will all eventually be impacted by at least one of these issues.
With that in mind, in today’s post I want to take a slightly different tack and ask you to think about what happens when you don’t plan for elder care. Here are just a few of the most obvious consequences…
You or Your Family Will Be Left Making Last-Minute Choices
Did you know that most highly rated assisted-living facilities have waiting lists that stretch years into the future? Even if you aren’t sure when (or if) the day will come when it’s time to seriously consider such an option, it’s a good idea to do your homework now.
You don’t want to be in a situation where your family is left making snap decisions based on unpleasant options because it’s all that’s available to them on short notice.
Strangers Could End Up Making Decisions That Impact Your Life in a Big Way
What happens when a senior citizen is incapacitated and can no longer express their wishes directly? Or, what will occur if you or your loved one is facing a situation where a complicated medical treatment is recommended but spouses and children can’t agree on the correct course of action?
In each of these instances it’s entirely possible that a court-appointed stranger will be the one to make the call. That’s certainly not ideal, and it can be prevented with some very simple paperwork.
The Financial Strain of Long-Term Care Could Be Enormous
Like college or retirement, long-term care is something that requires specialized financial planning. And, just like these other major life stages, that planning is much easier when you have years rather than days on your side.
When there isn’t a financial plan in place, it may become necessary to sell assets at bargain-basement prices or take other drastic steps to raise cash. That’s no way to budget for your own future, or that of your loved ones.
The Good News on Elder Care Planning
I understand I’ve just laid out some pretty grim scenarios. However, there is a bit of good news in all of this: you and your loved ones can avoid all of these problems. All you have to be willing to do is endure a couple of uncomfortable conversations. Just start planning now and you’ll see that thinking ahead is not nearly as scary or overwhelming as it might seem.
Want an easy way to get started? For some good advice on the subject, follow my Facebook page so you’ll be notified about my follow-up article on the topic. Or even better, ORDER my new book today!
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