Here’s an interesting quandary: while experts estimate that today’s retirees face a 69 percent future risk of needing long-term care, six in 10 middle-aged adults consider themselves unlikely to ever require assistance living their lives. Those numbers indicate that aging adults are overly optimistic about their future living needs—and their confidence is causing many to postpone or forgo planning for long-term care.
We’re big proponents of preparing for the future, so we’ve compiled some common excuses for intentionally—or unintentionally—delaying long-term care planning. If any of these sound familiar, it wouldn’t hurt to begin considering your future needs.
1. Planning for something you might never need seems pointless.
To be sure, dwelling on future physical or cognitive challenges that might require you to seek help with daily activities could be considered counterproductive. After all, planning for uncertainty runs against the positive perspective we’re encouraged to maintain. However, being prepared does not mean you won’t enjoy the carefree senior lifestyle you imagine; it simply means protecting your dreams from the unexpected—just in case.
2. Your limited experience as a caregiver leaves you unmotivated.
Research shows that having experience caring for others motivates people to make long-term living plans for their own futures. Many want to avoid the consequences they watched their charges endure, such as family conflicts and financial hardships caused by not planning. Some with experience caring for aging parents plan ahead so not to burden their own children. But without similar experiences serving as motivation, it’s hard to see all the benefits of long-term care planning.
3. Caring for someone else is distracting you.
If you’re currently raising young children or caring for an aging parent—or, in a growing number of cases, doing both simultaneously—then time and financial resources are probably in short supply. Something has to give, and that usually means shortchanging yourself. As a result, competing responsibilities can hinder your long-term care planning efforts.
4. Your grandparents were a different kind of old.
We tend to consider ourselves more vibrant and self-sufficient than our parents and grandparents. While that perception motivates some individuals to safeguard their independence, it causes others to regard long-term care planning as unnecessary. Convinced they are aging well, people with this mindset often spend their money before they need it for long-term care.
5. You’re overly optimistic about advances in long-term care.
Many adults remember when dreary nursing homes were the only senior-living option that their aging parents and grandparents had. Today’s life plan communities and assisted living facilities are vast improvements—so, their thinking goes, even better models can’t be far behind. Unfortunately, such optimism leads individuals to put off long-term care planning until the next great thing comes along.
6. You’re counting on your children to take care of you.
With today’s unstable economy, relying on your adult kids to support you—directly or financially—is awfully risky. In many cases, your grown children are more likely to move back home with you than to provide you with a place to live.
If debunking all these excuses has encouraged you to begin planning your long-term living strategy, get in touch with us.