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Seven Steps to Financial Freedom in Retirement by Hank Parrott

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CHAPTER 6

Paying for Helping Hands

THE INS AND OUTS OF LONG-TERM CARE

If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

—Mickey Mantle

There was a time when families frequently provided the care necessary for their aging parents and grandparents, but times are changing. When I was 14 years old, my maternal grandmother moved in with us. My mom—all of five feet and 90 pounds—took care of Grandma as best she could for as long as possible, converting our living room into a bedroom because Grandma was not able to climb the stairs. Unfortunately, Grandma had Parkinson’s Disease, and at the time treatment options were very limited. On top of this, my mother was raising six children between the ages of 4 and 14, which made it even more difficult to find time to provide the high level of care my grandmother needed. After a couple of years, my grandmother’s deteriorating condition made it physically impossible for my mother to provide the level of care Grandma needed. My parents instead found a nursing home that could meet my grandmother’s needs.

As you near retirement, it’s important to consider how your health care needs will evolve as you grow older, what your long-term care options will be, and how you will pay if long-term care becomes necessary. The costs of long-term health care can be devastating and any financial planning strategy that does not account for the possibility of long-term health care costs is a recipe for disaster.

What Are Your Options? ...

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