Long Term Planning

Financial Planning Questions for Long-Term Care

Is privately funded care affordable? How does an adult child know if his/her parents can afford their possible need for long-term care?

Below are some questions designed to help adult children get a handle on their parents' finances:

It's important to establish roughly how much money your parents have in cash, investments, and Social Security.
We're living longer than ever, which means more people are outliving their retirement savings. Ask your parents whether they have enough to sustain themselves for the rest of their lives. If not, how much support will they need?
If they have life insurance or 401(k) plans, make a note of the heirs listed on the policies.
Ask your parents to give you a copy of all important account numbers and passwords, along with contact information for financial advisers and lawyers. If they have a safety deposit box containing estate plan documents, jewelry or other valuables, find out where the key is stored. This will make it easier to sort out their affairs if they fall ill or die suddenly.
Make sure they have, so that you know who is responsible for making decisions on their behalf in the event of a medical emergency.
If not, urge your parents to draft one, regardless of how small
their estate is. This will minimize the chances of petty squabbles erupting over their possessions.

Source: M.P. Dunleavey, a contributing editor at MSN Money (Money.MSN.com)

Web Resources

National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information
A wealth of information and resources to help plan for future long-term care needs, courtesy of the US Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Long-Term Care Link
This comprehensive resource for long-term care planning, available from the National Care Planning Council, offers an assortment of articles to help educate about all aspects of long-term care planning.

Statistics on Long-Term Care
Family Caregiver Alliance compiles national long-term care statistics from multiple studies and sources in this informative fact sheet.