The fear of not being able to care for yourself is common, especially among the elderly. Facing that fear alone can lead to financial and emotional disaster in the future, which is why it’s important to engage your family and discuss your plans with them before retirement.
Merrill Lynch released a study that helped identify the prevailing hopes and fears that dictate perception of retirement and long term care. The two top worries, they found, were outliving retirement savings and being a burden on family members.
In an interesting breakdown, the financial concern seemed to prevail in the younger population, while older adults were more worried about burdening their loved ones.
What constitutes a burden, though, is not as simple as you may think. Researchers dove a little deeper into what participants consider to be a burden to better understand attitudes towards long term care.
Defining a Burden
Nearly half of respondents (49%) said that having family members physically care for them is a burden, and 30% considered taking family away from their own lives to provide care a burden. Slightly fewer, about 28% of people, view asking family for financial assistance as a burden, and just 22% view moving in with loved ones as a burden.
All in all, it seems that physical care is what most people anticipate to cause the most issues. Instead of discussing these fears with family members and loved ones, too often people keep their concerns, wants, and needs to themselves until a medical emergency changes the dynamic.
When the need for care occurs, if nothing has been discussed, chaos and stress usually manifest within the situation, and family tension and disagreement may arise. This type of scenario is the perfect example of why planning ahead can make such a huge difference in the quality of care you receive.
Having the Talk
The Merrill Lynch study discovered that only 36% of adults over the age of 50 have discussed their will or inheritance with their adult children, and a mere 10% have talked about how they plan to pay for long term care. The need for families to talk is serious.
The earlier you have this important discussion, the better off your entire family will be in the future. Medical emergencies often happen without warning; don’t be stuck trying to arrange care at the last minute.
Long term care insurance can help you prepare for this type of situation. This type of coverage shields your assets from the full cost of care and prevents you from burdening your family with the need for unpaid care. Read more about planning for long term care in retirement or fill out this form and receive a personalized comparison of the top long term care companies today.