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The Step-by-Step Guide to Long-Term Care Planning

We all hope to stay independent forever, but there’s always the chance you’ll need extra support with daily activities once you reach the later stages of your life. This is where long-term care planning comes in – by planning ahead for the possibility, whether it’s from ageing, illness, or disability, you can give yourself peace of mind and be financially prepared if it happens.

At Lester Brunt, our team of financial advisers have years of experience helping people across the South chart a course for their future. Read on for our step-by-step guide to long-term care planning, which will give you the foundational knowledge you need to start building your own personalised plan.

 

1. Research Long-Term Care Options

First, it’s a good idea to understand the types of long-term care available. Let’s explore some common services:

  • Home health care is a range of medical services provided in the comfort of your own home. This can include assistance with bathing, medication management, and therapy. It’s usually less expensive than staying in a nursing home and allows you to receive care in familiar surroundings, which can be mentally and emotionally helpful.
  • Adult day care is a programme designed for adults who need supervision or social interaction during the day. It’s a non-residential setting, meaning you would go there for the day but not live there. Typically, it involves participating in activities, socialising, and receiving any necessary medical care in a safe and supervised environment.
  • Assisted living is a type of housing designed for people who need some help with daily tasks, but still want to maintain their independence. It’s a middle ground between independent living and a nursing home. You’d largely live on your own, but would receive some onsite support services like meals, housekeeping, and medication reminders.
  • Nursing homes are residential facilities that provide 24/7 care, often for individuals with complex medical needs. They can be the best option for people who need a higher level of care than can be provided at home.

While it’s hard to predict what kind of care you might need down the road, familiarising yourself with the different options available will help you incorporate your choices into your plan and help your loved ones understand your wishes for the future.

 

2. Consider Your Financial Landscape

Long-term care can be expensive, costing you a few hundred to thousands of pounds a month depending on what kind of care you need. Assessing your finances now will let you know if you can cover the costs on your own, and if not, how much you’ll need to save up.

Begin by finding out the average cost for the type of care you might need in your area. This will give you an estimate to work with. Then, take a good look at your current and future financial assets, including:

  • Your savings
  • Any investments you have (and how much they might return)
  • The value of your home if you own one
  • Any government benefits you might qualify for

Subtract care costs from your finances to get an idea of how much you’ll need to save up.

Long-term care insurance might also be worth considering. It’s not a guaranteed solution, but it can help you manage the costs down the line.

3. Discuss Your Wishes with Loved Ones

Communication is key, just like with any financial planning. Before, during, and after you make a long-term care plan, be open with your family about your wishes and how prepared you are financially. This way, they’ll understand what to expect and can help make sure your plans are followed. It’s also important to choose someone you trust to make medical decisions for you if you can’t. This could be your spouse, partner, adult child, a close friend, or even someone like a religious leader.

4. Develop a Legal Plan

Don’t forget to get your legal affairs in order, too. This will make the process easier for your loved ones and ensure your wishes are followed. Here’s what you can do:

  • Write a will that explains how you want your belongings and money to be shared after you’re gone.
  • Put in place a power of attorney, choosing someone you trust to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable around your property and finances and your health and welfare.
  • Think about a living trust, which can help you avoid probate court and streamline the management of your assets.

5. Review and Update Regularly

Life is full of twists and your circumstances can change quickly, so it’s a good idea to revisit your long-term care plan every few years (or sooner if there are significant changes in your health). By doing so, you can make sure your plan is as up to date and relevant as it can be when the time comes to put it into action.

Talk to Our Experts in Long-Term Care Planning

Long-term care planning can get complicated, but you don’t have to do it alone. The experts at Lester Brunt are here to support you every step of the way.

We have over 25 years of experience helping families navigate long-term care planning. We offer compassionate, personalised guidance to help you figure out the best options for your situation, taking into account your goals and circumstances to help you achieve the best outcome.

Whether you’re younger or older, just starting out or nearing retirement, Lester Brunt can help you and your family plan for a brighter future. Book a no-obligation consultation online or call us on 01202 695 801 today.

The writing of a Will or Powers of Attorney involves the referral to a service that is separate and distinct from those offered by St. James’s Place. Wills and Powers of Attorney are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Written By Michael Lester

Financial Adviser

Lester Brunt Wealth Management

Lester Brunt Wealth Management is a trading name of Lester Brunt Wealth Management Ltd

SJP Approved 17/06/2024