Use this Guide to Help You Plan for Paying for Long Term Care

May 17, 2019

When it comes to planning for the future, we are unique in the animal kingdom. Humans have the ability to perceive what the future may look like and build a plan or develop a path to get there. We put in place contingencies in the event not all our initial plans “go as planned.”

So why all this talk about being unique and planning for the future?

Well, most of us don’t plan for certain things in our lives. Case in point, planning for our own or a loved one’s need for care later in life.

We’ve all heard the staggering statistics that thousands of baby boomers are turning 65 each day, and a very large percentage of us will most likely need some form of long term care later as we get older. Additionally, a vast number of Americans have not saved enough and are now having to decide, do I pay for my prescriptions or do I eat today.

So often in many of these cases, people fall short—not because they don’t or didn’t have the means, intelligence, or abilities to address their situation. They now face these challenges because they didn’t plan. There is even a quote about it, and you probably know it or some form of it: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

When planning, we need information to help us make our plans and our action items that lead us to our desired goals and outcomes. We must have a roadmap to get there and we must begin with basic steps to create our plan.

What goes in a financial plan?

Since we’re talking about finances, I’ll use some of my outline for building a client plan, but there are many planning tools out there to get you started. You should at a minimum:

  • Define your goals and objectives – short and long term;
  • Summarize your current financial situation including cash flow and budget, and risk factors and mitigation tools be they legal or financial;
  • Discover and understand all of your assets and liabilities;
  • Do a retirement financial analysis to find asset and income shortfalls
  • Address potential costs of long term care needs and future contingencies.

This plan outline is just a guide, as every plan is different and as unique as you are in this world. There is no one size fits all for planning.

How to pay for long term care?

Additionally, when it comes to paying for long term care needs, there is no silver bullet to handle paying for it.

However, there are several different means of paying for the care of a loved one or yourself. You’ve most likely heard of some of them if you watch TV or happen to read most major magazine or financial articles online. This list is not exhaustive, but the big ones are:

While you may know some of these by name, you might not know how they work or how to even get them for your loved one or yourself.

Beyond that, knowing how one of these works in no way means it is right for you or even a possible option. You need to determine if your current situation will allow for several options to work together and what will provide the best possible financial safety net you desire or need?

What are my next steps?

If you are ready right now and need assistance in developing a plan for a current situation, you should talk to someone at Iona to get started or you can reach out to me, as I have created the Long-Term Care Financial AssessmentSM and am glad to help you answer these question related to your specific situation.

From time to time, I offer free presentations at Iona on long term care planning. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, or notified the next time we offer this class, please contact Lena Frumin at

Remember, you are unique in the world in so many ways, so use those abilities to plan for what you want to happen and address what may happen. I look forward to seeing you on the path to a better tomorrow.

by Rick Gow, CSA
Certified Senior Advisor & Wealth Advisor or (703)966-9249
with Life Plan Retirement Partners, LLC., Securities offered through Dempsey Lord Smith, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC

Rick Gow is a seasoned Wealth Management Advisor, a member of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors®, facilitator of the Meaningful Future Process™ and nationally recognized speaker on many senior related long term care financial planning topics. He primarily works with seniors, their caregivers and family members, related to all aspects of financial planning for long term care needs. He helps develop all-encompassing long term care plans, tax efficient wealth transfer structures and retirement strategies. Most plans start with his Long Term Care Financial Assessment that addresses various components: from income generation, Medicaid & Veteran’s Administration compliant insurance products to real estate transfer strategies and principal protection, just to name a few.