LifeTuner.org, AARP's personal finance resource for young adults, is currently spotlighting an article from Care.com writer Jody Gastfriend that offers 6 tips to help Millennials financially prepare for the possibility of caring for their parents.
With the average post-retirement health care costs estimated at around $240,000 without including long term care, the need for planning now, today, becomes pressing for the often underemployed Gen-Y. The money situation is further exacerbated by Boomers' savings having shrunk and their support of both their children and their aging parents.
Here are 6 tips to help Millennials avoid a long term care disaster:
- Learn the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Don't be like Frank who assumed Medicare would pay for long term care in a nursing home. For more information go to www.medicare.gov.
- Don't wait until the discharge date to learn about your parent's ability to pay for care. Medicaid eligibility may require years of advanced planning.
- Research funding sources. Is your father a Veteran? Does your mother have long term care insurance? Would a reverse mortgage be an option?
- Consult professionals. Elder law attorneys, financial planners, and geriatric care managers can be very helpful in sorting out options for care and funding.
- Consider indirect expenses such as transportation, missed work, financial and legal assistance, and travel expenses as part of the cost of care.
- Explore benefits through your workplace. More companies are recognizing the need to provide support to caregiving employees and offer resources such as expert consultation, backup care, provider referrals, and geriatric care management.
Be sure to visit the LifeTuner blog for a cautionary tale and the full article on the costs of caregiving.