You may not want to think about failing health in the future, especially if you’re getting along fine now, but there are reasons for doing so. The cost of medical care in your senior years balloons to over $387,000 per couple on average after retiring at 65. That could put enormous strain on you and your family if you don’t take some precautions and begin preparing.
Walking Through Life as Women wants to help you navigate the road ahead, and here, we offer some guidance to help you with planning.
Make Lifestyle Changes
While the jury’s still out on dieting fads and superfoods, one thing’s for certain: Meals rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein will keep you on your feet and full of energy if matched with a fitness routine and a good night’s sleep. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week through a variety of activities including walking, swimming, or cycling. Besides burning calories, this will help you relax in the evening and get to bed on time. To prolong your good health, you should also consider home modifications including slip-free surfaces that reduce the risk of injury.
Examine Your Family History
Heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure can all be passed down from generation to generation, which is why you need to delve into your family medical history. According to Aurora Health Care, knowing that you are at greater risk for hereditary conditions such as these allows you to make additional changes to your lifestyle while anticipating what type of care you may need in the future.
Talk to Your Physician
While there will likely be a number of health care professionals involved in your well-being, your primary care physician is the quarterback. They call the shots when it comes to what treatment, therapy, and medication you require. Their in-depth knowledge of your current level of health as well as previous illnesses makes them a great resource.
Research Your Options
You may start off just needing some help around the house. That’s what a home health aide does, along with a few basic medical procedures such as changing a dressing or handing out medication. For more in-depth care, you’ll find adult daycare for some additional social support. Assisted living facilities and nursing homes are options when you are no longer able to care for yourself. In California, the latter can cost as much as $9,817 a month or more for a private room. When looking forward to long-term care, it’s also wise to research and tour a handful of San Diego’s 22 communities to get a sense of what to expect; you may even be able to put down a refundable deposit.
With some idea of the level of care that you need, it’s time to look at how you can finance these arrangements. Here are a few options.
Look Into Medicare
As you may know, Medicare does not pay for long-term health care. However, through Medicare Advantage plans you can save on out-of-pocket expenses as they offer the same coverage as parts A and B. These plans also offer assistance with prescriptions, dental and eye care, fitness services, and caregiver support. In addition, a 24/7 nursing advice line is available. These programs and tools can help you live a more active lifestyle now and into the future. If adding this supplemental coverage sounds ideal and you’re of age, check out enrollment dates and eligibility so you can get signed up and set up.
Use Your Insurance
There are a number of ways to raise cash with your life insurance. A living benefits rider is an option you can add to your plan that allows you to use your death benefit early in the case of an illness or injury, according to finance website DoughRoller. Moreover, depending on the type of policy you have, you could sell it via a broker.
Pick the Right Plan
You’re already familiar with the standard 401(k), but what about other savings plans? They may suit you better depending on what tax advantages would help your finances the best. With a Roth IRA, for example, you contribute after-tax dollars, but there’s no tax to pay on your withdrawals after you reach 59 ½ years of age.
With the right information, you can make the right decisions, no matter how difficult they are. And once your long-term care is settled, you can enjoy your retirement.
By Elena Stewart
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