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With the advancements made in health care and technology today, the world’s population is living longer than ever before. Because of that, there is also an increase in the need for nursing home and other forms of long-term care. But long-term care isn’t just for elderly peo- ple, there are many cases when the people needing some form of long-term care may be in their forties, or younger! From this need arises an unfortunate problem. There are those who are in need of care, but are unable to afford it. This is a needless problem that can be easily remedied, as long as you are open to discussing the possi- bility, and realities surrounding long-term care.

By the year 2050, nearly five percent of our population will be at least 85 years old, whereas, only one percent of the population was that age in 1990.2 This will translate into an increased percentage of people who will need long-term care, or will already be in either a nursing home or receiving in-home care. As people age, their ability to do little, everyday things diminishes. Most everyone knows people who have hired special care workers to come into their home, or are living in a nursing home simply because they were unable to care for themselves properly anymore.

The odds of your entering a nursing home increase every year. If you knew that you were going to need some form of care, be it in- home or nursing home care, what would you do? Do you know how you would pay for it? If you answered “yes” to the second question, congratulations. At least you have thought about it. But your answers may not be the best suited to your situation. There are a few ways to help protect yourself, as well as your spouse and dependents, from the costs of long-term care. If you answered “no” to the second ques- tion, you are not alone. Most people have not considered what they would do. Perhaps they may be unwilling to entertain the thought of needing some sort of plan. Unfortunately, today’s reality dictates that we consider the unpleasant. Simply put, we have to plan in order to make sure that we will be taken care of.

2Personal Financial Planning, Eighth Edition, By Lawrence J. Gitman and Michael D. Joehnk. Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1999.

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