My financial planning engagements are very detailed, especially for clients that are nearing retirement. I find when talking with colleagues at conferences and continuing education meetings that many of them do not discuss how Medicare works, the potential cost of healthcare in retirement, or even potential Long Term Care needs. I know that the clients who come to me, often come to me with misconceptions about these items. Which is understandable, since they have never encountered these situations before. I feel good about introducing them to these topics so that they can prepare.
One of the most common misconceptions that I see is, if someone needs to move into a nursing home that Medicare will cover the cost. While Medicare will cover medical care for skilled nursing care for 100 days, they do not cover custodial care. What I tell people is Medicare is health insurance, and if you are being rehabilitated and your health is expected to improve then that is health insurance and you are covered. But if you are not expected to improve, and you are needing coverage to pay for Activities of Daily Living to care for you like eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, walking/moving from the bed to a chair, then that is not health insurance, that is Long Term Care and that is covered by:
1) your savings or
2) Long Term Care insurance or
3) government benefits after you have spent your assets down (Medicaid or VA benefits.)
This information is eye opening for a lot of people who come to me.
I mention this so that you consider learning all that you can about Long Term Care. It is more than just buying Long Term Care insurance. It is thinking about all of your preferences and discussing them with your family. It is preparing your home for successfully aging in place, learning about your housing options should you decide you no longer want to live at home, learning about how you can take care of yourself to prevent falls and other action steps that you can take so that you have a long and enjoyable retirement. Planning in advance gives you control and confidence versus making hurried decisions in a crisis. A terrific resource for learning about Long Term Care is www.LongTermCare.gov.
The information below is copied and pasted from an educational resource that I have access to called Forefield Broadridge, I hope you find it helpful.
Housing Options for Older Individuals