November 26, 2014 in Retirement

I was interviewing Deb Newman, of Newman Long Term Care, for an upcoming blog post on long-term care policies, when she described the need for couples to have a conversation about their long-term care plans.

Like many, I thought it was all about the decision whether to purchase a long-term care insurance policy. Newman pointed out that the decision to buy coverage is only part of the conversation. Another part of the conversation is discussion the decision when to use outside caregivers.

Couples need to talk about when they will stop trying to provide home care on their own for their spouse and to get professional assistance in providing that care. This is true for couples with long-term care (LTC) insurance policies in place, as well as for those who decided to self-insure this need.

With longer life expectancies increasing the odds that you’ll need long-term care at some point, it makes sense to discuss when and how you expect to use a caregiver in a home-care situation.

If you expect your child to provide that care, the discussion needs to include the child. A caregiver agreement with a family member can spell out the responsibilities and finances, and the cost may be covered by the long-term care policy.

Have you had a discussion about your long-term care plan?

Do you have long-term care insurance?

Follow me on Twitter: @drdonsays

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