It is not unusual for people to begin thinking about everything they will do with their free time once they retire. While it is fun to think about the hobbies they will pick up, where they will travel or the other ways in which they will use their retirement funds, it is also important to think about the less appealing aspects of getting older.
Unfortunately, you and many other Georgia residents may end up in need of long-term care in the future. While it may not happen immediately at retirement age, it could happen at any time. Additionally, the need for such care is not only for older or elderly people, as a serious injury or illness could place anyone of any age in need of extended care. As a result, you would be wise to consider planning for such a possibility.
What are your risk factors?
Though it is impossible to predict very early on who specifically will need long-term care, certain risk factors could have you facing a greater likelihood of needing extended care in the future. Some common risk factors include the following:
- Whether you are married: If you are not married or become a widow or widower, your chances of needing care from an outside provider may increase.
- Lifestyle choices: If you rarely exercise, live on junk food, consume numerous alcoholic beverages and generally have other poor health habits, your chances of having serious health issues in the future, and thus needing long-term care, increase.
- Age: As mentioned, the older a person gets, the more likely he or she is of needing long-term care for age-related debilitations, whether physical or mental.
- Family history: If you have a history of serious medical conditions that run in your family, your chances of developing those same or similar issues also increase.
- Gender: Often, women face a higher risk of needing long-term care than men because women tend to live longer.
Understanding these risk factors may help put your need for long-term care planning into perspective. If you have not yet started considering what type of care you would want, how you would pay for such care and how you could start setting aside funds, it may be worthwhile for you to start the process. Fortunately, there are various estate planning options that could help you address your extended care needs.