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Health care planning may help combat rising medical costs

It seems that the costs associated with medical care are continually rising with no end in sight. When this rise in costs is accompanied by the fact that people are living longer, the need for health care planning has never been more urgent. The retirement that Washington, DC, residents spend years building could be squandered on payments to doctors, hospitals and care facilities without additional planning.

Data from studies indicates that well over 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 are going to need some sort of care as they age. Family members often provide this care as long as they can. However, there may come a time when care that is more professional is required.

Numerous government-funded programs exist. However, Medicaid only provides a certain level of coverage and, therefore, limits a family’s options when it comes to assisted living centers or nursing homes. Retirement income may only go so far, and some families end up dipping into their savings to pay for the care of an elderly loved one.

Washington, DC, residents can prepare for the possibility of moving into an assisted living center or nursing home through health care planning. This would be above and beyond the funding of a retirement account. Several options are available to individuals who wish to include this type of planning in their estate plan. Being aware of and exploring these options is the first step toward providing an individual and his or her family with some direction and freedom regarding how to care for him or her later in life.

Source: kansas.com, "Consider options for health care when planning retirement", Rob Hendrickson, May 29, 2014

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