Financial Planning for Eldercare

Tackling difficult conversations and how to create a plan

The frontman for the band Black Sabbath and rock legend Ozzy Osbourne shared with the public that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. With appearing on Good Morning America, Ozzy who is now age 71, spoke about receiving the diagnosis of the neurodegenerative disorder in February 2019. Sharon Osbourne, his wife, appeared with him on Good Morning America and said “there are so many different types of Parkinson’s… it’s not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body. It’s like you have a good day, a good day, and then a really bad day.”

The couple shared that Ozzy would be receiving immune therapy in Switzerland. Ozzy said that he’s “lucky enough to be able to afford all that” and has been pondering starting a foundation for those that are impacted by the disease but cannot afford such treatments.

The Climbing Cost of Health Care

The climbing cost of health care for senior citizens has received a large amount of attention, but many do not consider other important aspects of eldercare. Having those hard conversations now can help you make informed decisions about this inevitable life stage. As medicine and nutrition advance the average life expectancy rises. According to the CDC, the average American life expectancy is around 79 years.

Living longer means more thought must be put into eldercare, not just the monetary aspect but legal and medical as well. A Cost of Care Survey shows at least 70% of those older than 65 will require long-term care to some degree. Further, according to one study done, one out of four adult children provide financial assistance or personal care to an elderly parent, and over 65 million people give an average of 20 hours/week caring for an aged or chronically ill family member.

Begin with a Family Meeting

Making a plan means making better decisions and can help avoid roadblocks during this hard time. Preparation means having important documents updated and ready, knowing who to consult, and having hard discussions before it’s too late. The first step to creating a plan means having a family meeting. You should have each member of the family give an opinion on what tasks are required and what responsibilities each member can take on. If you cannot come to an agreement, perhaps consider an elder mediator that specializes in assisting with these disputes. Make sure to include the loved one who requires care in these conversations. Unless they are in a state where they can no longer make decisions, their opinion is the most important.

Making a Team

A planning team can assist in navigating the intimidating issues of medical care, government health care plans, privatized insurance, and the location and cost of long-term care facilities.

This team should ideally consist of:

  • A financial advisor for assisting with expenses and estate plans
  • A private health advisory for reviewing medical records, living arrangments, and access to benefits
  • An accountant for tax purposes if you will be claiming an elderly person as a dependant
  • An attorney for preparing documents such as powers of attorney, living will and testament, and healthcare proxy

Planning Makes It Easier

It’s understandable to want to put off thinking about and discussing aging, but it’s better to make arrangements now than when things get serious. A clear idea of the issues can assist you in preparing for this stage of life and the hard decisions it brings.

To discuss your care plan, talk to the financial professionals here at NEST Financial. Email to set up an introductory call.

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