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Eldercare Planning – Intro

Eldercare planning is a complex topic and consumes a lot of time for myself and many of my friends. We are the sandwich generation worried about our kids, or in my case, as a PANK™ (professional aunt no kids), worried about my nieces and our parents/other aging relatives. I am knee-deep in figuring out the best long-term care plans for my parents, two uncles, and an aunt. And the statistics point to it becoming a more significant financial planning issue that all of us will need to navigate in the future:

  • 1 out of 3 people retiring today will live into their 90’s
  • 50% of children under the age of 5 today will live to age 100
  • The fastest growing age group in this country are the people over the age of 85
  • 46% of people over the age of 85 will develop some form of dementia
  • 7 out of 10 people will require long-term care in their lifetime
  • 58% of adult kids will end up thrust into the role of caregiving without any family discussion

So, how can we work with our aging relatives and friends to understand the financial implications of their aging plan? And if they don’t have one, what can we do to put a plan in place before a crisis happens? I am currently enrolled in an Eldercare Planning Specialist certification course through the Financial Planners Association to help us as a firm put a set of resources in place to help our clients navigate eldercare planning. Some of the curriculum topics I am exploring include:

  • Understanding the aging process and the caregiver’s role
  • Diversity and aging and insights into retirees 85 and older
  • Legal issues of aging
  • Increasing approaches to planning for extended or long-term care
  • Social Security and Medicare planning
  • Diminished capacity, elder abuse, end-of-life plans
  • Structuring and conducting the family meeting / ethical will / legacy letter
  • Building an elder planning team of resources
  • Creating an eldercare plan

But the myths are real, and must be debunked:

  • If you talk about this, it will happen
  • Medicare covers long-term care (it does not!)
  • Aging in place is the solution (until it isn’t)
  • Only people who are seriously ill or injured need caregivers
  • I feel fine; I won’t need an eldercare plan

I don’t have all the answers (yet), but I am coming up with tools for us to leverage with our clients.  We just did a family meeting with my aunt to make sure we understood all her wishes and had all the pieces in place to step in if she needed us to. Reach out to me to share your experiences or challenges if you are navigating this path as well. We can figure it out together.

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Kathleen McQuiggan
Kathleen is a Partner and Wealth Advisor at Artemis Financial Advisors LLC. She has 30+ years of experience in the financial services industry. Her specialties include the financial planning needs of women and employing sustainable investing approaches. She considers herself a financial ally, helping clients develop strategic wealth plans.

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