Is Your Wealth Management Plan Set-up To Support You As You Age?

Gail Champiny |

Over 75% of high net worth individuals have no plan for long-term care in place. Are you one of them? 

According to a study done by Key Private Bank, more than half of people over the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point in the future. But, less than 25% have any plan in place to support this.

As you age, it is natural to worry about the uncertainty of the future and what impact it will have on you, your quality of life, and your family. But, there are steps you can take to set your heirs up for success. Read on to learn more about common concerns you may be experiencing as well as tips for how you can navigate these challenges. 

Preparing for the unknown

It’s impossible to know what the future will hold, which is why we recommend building a wealth management plan that can support a variety of scenarios. 

In order to do that, you need to think about what you would want your future life - and care - to look like. While it may feel uncomfortable, thinking through a few foundational questions now is key to building a plan that ensures quality of life for you and your family in the future.

Helpful questions to think about and discuss with your spouse, children, and wealth management partner include:

  • Envision how you’d like to live your life in the coming decades. What does that look like?

  • Have you thought about whether you prefer to receive care at home or in a facility?

  • In the case of needing to receive long-term care in a facility, have you thought about which options provide the most comfort, safety, and care? 

  • Have you thought about who will manage your financial and administrative responsibilities (i.e. paying the bills) should you become unable to do so?

  • Have you thought about what you might do if your spouse requires long-term care or passes? 

  • If you have a pet, have you thought about how your care plan may affect housing and care for them? 

Cost of care

Caring for aging parents is more costly than ever for children and extended family members. According to a study by Genworth, assisted living facility fees grew 6.15% between 2020 and 2021, for a median cost of $51,600 per year or $4,300 per month. Other notable increases reported by Genworth include a 4.35% rise in home health aide annual costs to a median of $54,912 and a 3.57% increase in private nursing home rooms for a median cost of $105,850.

While understanding and communicating your wishes to your family is key in preparing them to support you as you age, a critical component is ensuring your current wealth management plan is set-up to support your future wishes.

For example, remaining at home longer may save you on facility costs, but your home may need repairs or adjustments in order to continue to support your needs safely and comfortably. Or, what if you are no longer able to drive? Will you need to arrange a service for transportation or for care to come into your home? 

After considering the scenarios above, it’s important to sit down with your wealth management advisor to understand what strategies and investments should be implemented now in order to support the future you envision. The earlier you have these conversations with your advisory team, the more likely you are to be able to live the future you desire and avoid passing on complex issues and unexpected costs to your heirs. 

Inability or incapacity to make decisions

So often, we work with families of clients who are no longer able to manage their own financial and administrative needs. Be it due to critical illness, dementia, or another factor that reduces their ability to advocate on their behalf and in their best interest, a caretaker often steps in to support their loved one. 

Take the time now to determine who will be the primary caretaker for your affairs should you no longer be able to manage them on your own:

  • Ask your caretaker(s) if they are willing and able to take on that role. 

  • Clearly communicate your plans with them, including if or when you make any changes down the road. 

  • Introduce them to your team of advisors so that they know who to contact in the event you are not able to communicate with your advisors directly.

Moreover, one of the hardest parts for caretakers seeking to support their loved ones as they age is being able to find and access important information. When loved ones don’t know where to access key documents, it causes a number of issues including wasted time, increased costs, and sometimes even delays in care and arrangements. 

To help you and your caretakers, make sure to:

  • Stay organized

  • Notify designated individuals of where key documents are

  • Ensure your advisory team has access to key documents, as well

While planning for an unknown future can be difficult and, oftentimes, uncomfortable, taking these steps now are critical to helping you maintain your desired quality of life and ease the burden of caretaking in the future. 

Have questions on how to ensure your plans support you and your family now and in the future? Reach out to your advisor or contact us at (860) 838-3730 to learn more.