Assisted Home Living Is Now the Target Market for Long-Term Care

The new trend in long-term care is assisted home living. Seniors who are purchasing their last home—their retirement home—are retrofitting it for the future home-care living. Why wait until you’re in your 80s to install the walk-in tub? It’s in your master bedroom, so it’s out of sight, out of mind. Pull-down kitchen cabinets replacing traditional cabinetry; now nothing’s out of reach. Single-story homes with no stairs, sunken living rooms or outside steps are out of the picture because assisted home living is the goal.

This is not your parents’ retirement. We’re all going to be living longer and some form of elder care is inevitable. Retrofitting your retirement home now for in home care in the future makes sense. Living longer means living a healthy lifestyle of regular exercise and proper diet. There’s a race between geriatric medical technology and the eventuality of growing old.

The first phase of retirement is the “go-go” years where you go and do everything your money will allow you to do. Then come the “slow-go” years where you can go and do everything, you just choose not to. Lastly, the “no-go” years are where you go nowhere and you need help around the house.

Watch the interview on long-term care in retirement with Tom Hegna, popular platform speaker, retirement specialist and best-selling author with two retirement books entitled Don’t Worry, Retire Happy and Paychecks and Playchecks. Tom has also hosted the PBS Special, “Don’t Worry, Retire Happy.”

Eventually, assisted home living enters the picture. In the future, that may not occur until your late 80s to early 90s. You’re going need help—and you’re going to have to pay for it.

The long-term care insurance market has two basic policies: traditional long-term care contracts and hybrid combination policies. Traditional long-term care policies have the best benefits, but can be pricey. If you’re family has a history of elder care and you can afford it, you should consider purchasing a traditional long-term care policy. But if you find it too expensive, you should investigate two hybrid policies that have long-term care provisions: life insurance and annuities.

The benefits are scaled back on these contracts, but some coverage is better than none. Keep in mind you want your coverage to include assisted home living.

After investigating the options of long-term care policies, you may conclude you just can’t afford them, but it’s risky to enter into retirement without a long-term care plan. But, if you do and you own your home free and clear, you may want to consider the appreciating HECM equity line of credit for seniors age 62+. The unused portion of the equity line of credit appreciates every year uncorrelated to the market value of your home.

If you need assistance at home, you could tap your equity without any payment obligations. The loan will be paid off when your home is sold after you and your spouse have both passed. This is a last-resort tactic, but for many, it may be the best and only option.

Nationally syndicated financial columnist Steve Savant interviews Tom Hegna, popular platform speaker, retirement expert and best selling author. Tom has two retirement books entitled Don’t Worry Retire Happy and Paychecks and Playchecks. Tom has also hosted the PBS Special, Don’t Worry Retire Happy.