WPS Health Insurance Blog

Senior care and life planning

Posted by Marie Puissant

Jan 29, 2015 8:05:00 AM

senior careMy grandma has always given me the best advice: heartaches are cured by puppy snuggles and ice cream, always go shopping with your grandma to get the senior discount, and calories don’t count on holidays, birthdays, or weekends.

While her advice might not be entirely practical, it’s always been well-meaning. And now, working in the insurance industry, I’m able to give my grandma some great advice too.

An article came out in the January 2015 issue of InBusiness magazine on The Business of Aging. And it had great news!

“… the Milken Institute recently placed Madison atop its list of the 20 best large metropolitan areas for successful aging, touting its quality health care, strong economy, cultural amenities, and opportunities for intellectual stimulation…overall it was the No. 1 city for people ages 65-79 and the third-best city for the 80-plus group.”

The best advice I want to give my grandma is to move to Madison, right now, but there’s more to just location when aging gracefully.

What about retirement?

According to a 2014 couple’s retirement study by Fidelity Investments, “38% of the working couples polled cited some disagreement on what kind of lifestyle they would retire to, 32% disagreed on how much they would need to work in retirement, and 38% hadn’t planned on retirement health care costs.”

Have you talked to your spouse about retirement? What does it look like to you? Don’t make assumptions about how you and your spouse envision retirement, ask! Don’t you want to know if you’ll be retiring to the No. 1 city for seniors?

Have you thought about long-term care?

Long-term care has the potential to be one of the biggest financial threats adults face in life. Most people don’t want to think about long-term care, which is a mistake. Did you know, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people who reach age 65 will require long-term care services at some point in their lives? Aside from that statistic, no one can predict how long you may need to receive care services and who will be there to care for you.

Planning for long-term care is crucial. Some questions to consider when planning for long-term care are:

  • Where do you plan to live when you retire?
  • What setting would you prefer to be in to receive care? (Home, assisted living, relatives, etc.)
  • How much of your long-term care expenses are you willing, or able, to pay out of your own pocket?

According to a 2012 Genworth State survey, 64% of adults don’t have a long-term care plan. Don’t be part of that statistic!

What about life insurance?

While it might seem morbid to think about, life insurance can be a life-saver to your family and spouse. Term life insurance generally provides protection for a set period of time, while whole and universal life insurance provides lifetime coverage. Life insurance is chosen based on your needs and goals. For more on life insurance, you can read a good overview on the types and compare life insurance here: What is life insurance? Learn how it works. (Clicking on the link will take you to a page provided by Fidelity Investments).

There are a lot of important decisions to make as you get older. Retirement, long-term care services, and life insurance are just the beginning. Check back soon to see how WPS can help with long-term care and life insurance, and in the meantime, definitely take my grandma’s advice on shopping. That senior discount is pretty handy.

Topics: Individuals & Families