In recent years, there have been countless advancements made in the field of medicine. Many Americans have also increasingly chosen to adopt healthier lifestyles. As a result, American seniors are living more lengthy lives. In fact, one recent study estimated that a healthy 65-year-old male currently has a 24% chance of reaching 90-years-old, and a woman fares even better with a 35% chance. Many experts foresee such life expectancy numbers to rise even higher as the medical and scientific communities continue to spawn new advancements.

Although the prospect of living a long life with friends and family is welcoming news, it does have the potential to create financial difficulties. Considering the challenges that living longer can add to a person's retirement income planning, it should be little surprise that most Baby Boomers cite outliving their money as one of their top fears. One way to keep the fear of outliving your resources from becoming a reality is by having a comprehensive financial plan that includes LTC (long-term care), tax, financial, and estate planning.

What's in a Comprehensive, Integrated Financial Plan?

The days of having separate estate and financial plans are fading fast. In today's world, it takes an integrated and comprehensive financial plan to ensure that you protect yourself and your family and accumulate your wealth. Your integrated, comprehensive plan should include:
  • Estate planning - you want to ensure that your assets go where and to who you see fit by having an effective estate plan. This will also cut tax, attorney, and court costs. Make sure to include a will, durable power of attorney, guardianship for minor children, and health care proxy.
  • Retirement savings.
  • Investment funds.
  • Life insurance - you want to ensure that your loved ones are financially protected should something happen to you, especially if your income is an integral part of household finances.
  • Medical insurance - health care costs are continuing to climb. Between the cost of routine health care expenses and unexpected illness and injury, medical insurance is a must for financial security.
  • LTC insurance - the cost of long-term care can be extremely high and quickly diminish, if not wipe out, your wealth.
Like most people, you probably realize that financial planning helps you accumulate your wealth and estate planning helps you to preserve and pass on what you've accumulated. It's easy to see why both are necessary components to any financial plan. However, a lot of people neglect the LTC planning because they view it as a luxury, not a need. Just remember, the high price tag of long-term care services can quickly eat away at your wealth if you don't have a LTC insurance policy to help you cover the expenses.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that Medicaid or Medicare will save the day, as neither will cover LTC expenses. You also shouldn't make the mistake of assuming that LTC insurance is only for the elderly. Studies on LTC services have found that around 40% of the services are being provided to those between 18 and 65-years-old. It's never too early to purchase LTC insurance since none of us are immune to accidents that could leave us in need of expensive LTC services. Plus, you may qualify for a preferred health rate discount by applying sooner rather than later.

It has become critical in today's world that all the components of a financial plan are integrated to protect yourself and your loved ones. You'll need to seek the help of a few professionals in building your comprehensive and integrated tax, financial, estate, and LTC plan. Make sure that the team you choose can work together and that each member is knowledgeable and experienced.
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Further Reading
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