Consider these two stories: Ben has been married to his wife Shirley for 47 years, and by all accounts both are healthy. Then, one day Ben has a stroke that leaves him unable to walk or talk. Now, Shirley — who understandably feels overwhelmed — is tasked with running and maintaining their home. She’s worried about Ben’s health, but now she finds herself struggling with paying the couple’s bills because she has no idea what accounts need to be paid or when they are due.
In the same neighborhood, 80-year-old Louise lives alone. Like Ben and Shirley, she’s healthy and independent. One day, Louise falls and breaks her hip, which requires her to stay in the hospital for a week and then two months in a nursing home. The difference with Louise’s story, however, is that her son who lives across the country is easily able to pay her bills and deal with Medicare questions. Why? Louise and her son had a long term care plan in place that helped put her affairs in order.
Even though you’re healthy, consider planning for your long-term care now. Here’s what you need to know to get your affairs in order.