When planning for retirement, most people focus on saving as much as possible for travel and/or to spend time with family. Then, they intend to spend their last days in their homes.
But according to elder law attorney Rajiv Nagatich, 70% of Americans won’t get that chance. And despite legal planning, the majority will be stuck in a hospital, hospice house, or nursing home.
That’s why Rajiv says true retirement planning should involve caring for your heath.
“It’ll become clear to you that to be able to not end up in a nursing home, I’d better do everything I can not to fall ill, he said. “As long as I’m healthy, I’m not in a nursing home.”
He says the key is also learning to navigate the health care system. A University of Minnesota study showed that those with a geriatrician were healthier than those seeing family medicine doctors. For those with geriatricians, subjects experienced 56% less depression, 40% less use of home care and home health, and 33% fewer new disabilities.
Next, Rajiv says to plan your housing. And here, there are three questions you’ll need to answer: Is your home age friendly, how will you pay for care, and where are you living in proximity to your child, or whoever you use as your health care agent?
Know your options if you do need long-term care.
“When I’m looking at the single biggest financial threat people face, it is an uncovered medical illness and long-term care,” he described. “You can get that covered using your own money. You can look into reverse mortgages. You can look into a long-term care policy. You can look into VA and Medicaid. You must look at them all at the same time.”
Also, Rajiv says you will want to create a legal playbook with an elder care attorney.
“Have you looked at the rest of your life and looked at every aspect of life that you must put together? And if you have not, that’s what you need.”
The bottom line is be informed and stay healthy as long as you can.