Planning for Health Care Costs

Planning for Health Care Costs

Discussing worst-case healthcare scenarios with your family is never easy. But is it fair to not have the discussion with the kids about your future healthcare needs and how you and the family are going to deal with them before the problems arise? As important as these conversations are, the vast majority of people are not having them. Only one in five people age 50+ has talked about long-term-care plans with their adult children, according to a 2015 Merrill Lynch study conducted in partnership with Age Wave.

These tips from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management outline four conversations every family should have.

 1. Where will the money come from?

It is never too early to talk about the potential costs and other consequences of medical care for yourself, your children or your parents. The considerations should include possible outlays for such expenses as home health care or changes to your house to accommodate a disability.

Though long-term-care insurance may be an appropriate choice for many, it is not right for everyone. There are other financial choices you can consider, from hybrid forms of life insurance and Health Savings Accounts to simply saving and investing more for eventual medical costs.

2. Will our parents have the care they need as they grow older?

In addition to considering their own future, many people struggle with aging parents’ unwillingness to face their limitations. The best response is to ask specific questions: At what point would it make sense for you to stop driving, or to have a caretaker come in to help with meals? You should bring these issues up long before safety concerns arise, and then position yourself as your loved ones’ ally.

3. Who will provide the caregiving, if it is needed?

Taking care of aging parents — or paying for their care — can be a large responsibility, and yet it is a responsibility that often falls unevenly in families. Siblings should first talk among themselves about how they will share the caregiving role. You want to be sure both your parents’ and your own needs are considered. Sometimes it makes sense to cobble together a combination of in-home and outside care. That way, siblings can at least share the costs, if not the hands-on responsibilities.

4. What about end-of-life issues?

Having this conversation can help ensure that a loved one’s (or your own) wishes will be honored. Among the things to consider: Which medical treatments do you want to be used or avoided at the end of your life? Whom do you want to be your health-care proxy if you are unable to communicate your wishes? You can use a health-care power of attorney and a living will to document your choices.

Once you have discussed these tough subjects with your family, it is important to keep talking as years go by and circumstances change. No one can predict their health future but you can put plans in place to help prepare yourself for what might come.

For more information, contact The Menashe Morley Group in the Rancho Santa Fe office at 858-381-8113. The Menashe Morley Group, serving the community for over 30 years: David Menashe is a Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor, Bruce Morley CRPC is a First Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor and John Naviaux is a Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.

For more information, contact The Menashe Morley Group in the Rancho Santa Fe office at 858-381-8113. The Menashe Morley Group, serving the community for over 30 years:  David Menashe is a Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor, Bruce Morley CRPC is a First Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor and John Naviaux is a Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor for Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated.

Long-term care insurance coverage contains benefits, exclusions, limitations, eligibility requirements and specific terms and conditions under which the insurance coverage may be continued in force or discontinued. Not all insurance policies and types of coverage may be available in your state.

Neither Merrill Lynch nor any of its affiliates or financial advisors provide legal, tax, accounting or benefits consulting advice. You should consult your legal and/or tax advisors before making any financial decisions.

This material should be regarded as general information on healthcare considerations and is not intended to provide specific healthcare advice. If you have questions regarding your particular healthcare situation, please contact your healthcare, legal or tax advisor.

Merrill Lynch makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S) and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Investment products offered through MLPF&S and insurance and annuity products offered through MLLA: Are Not FDIC Insured, Are Not Bank Guaranteed, May Lose Value, Are Not Deposits, Are Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency, and Are Not a Condition to Any Banking Service or Activity. MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer, Member SIPC and a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation.

 

Planning for Health Care Costs

Menashe Morely Group