How Protected Are You?

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With all of the advances in medicine and the application of healthier lifestyles, our human population is finding ways to extend our life span. We are living much longer than we used to which means we have more years we need to be financially stable.

When many people think about retirement, they see themselves retiring at age 65 living on a beach house somewhere in Hawaii. No more worries about money, children, work, etc. But is that really what happens? Where are our grandparents right now? Did they stop working at the age they wanted to or are they still working? Are they living comfortably in the house they always dreamed about with no worries about bills? Unfortunately, that’s not the case for most of the elderly out there.

loving elderly couple

Photo by Ambro

I’m going to share one of my personal stories on here about my grandma. I think it’s important that you understand why we must take into account ANYTHING can happen to us at ANYTIME.

My grandma had just turned 65 years old in April and at that time she was still working as a nurse. She eats very well and takes very good care of herself. About a week later, she unexpectedly had a stroke. She was working a night shift when all of a sudden she was feeling very faint. She walked herself up to the ICU because she didn’t know what was wrong with her. When she went up to that floor, she had a hard time explaining to another nurse what was going on. So they admitted her and sure enough, she was having a stroke.

After my dad had visited her at the hospital, he had told us that my grandma looks well but her mind has definitely been affected.

My dad had asked her simple questions such as, how many kids do you have? She answered, “Three, one son and two daughters.” Wrong.  My dad has two other siblings, a brother and a sister.

Worse, she couldn’t even remember the names of the co-workers that visited her at the hospital. From that point, my family knew that she had no choice but to retire. She was definitely not fit to be working nor would they let her work even if she wanted to.

When your choices start to become limited, life doesn’t tend to be as much fun anymore. Unfortunately, my grandma doesn’t have any type of long-term care plan for herself nor did she believe she would ever need it. Now, as a family, we all have to pull our time and resources together to help out my grandma. We all love her very much but I’m sure things would have been easier if there was a plan already set up for her.

Having a long-term care plan may give you the flexibility of choosing what type of care will suit your specific needs. My parents, for example, don’t want to live in a nursing facility when they get older. Instead of having them live by themselves at their own home, they have the option to have a skilled nurse come by during days they need her/him and have us kids help them on the weekends when we are not working. This would make them more comfortable since they get to stay in their own home.

family playing in sunny park

Planning ahead will save you the headache and stress you’ll encounter once it’s too late. Even as a young adult in my early 20s, I know the value of having long-term care insurance so I added it into my retirement plan. You don’t have to be in your 50s or 60s to start thinking about long-term care. If I were to become sick or hurt and had a long-term care need right now, my long-term care plan would kick-in. It’s not just important for the elderly to have this. It’s equally as important for everyone else to have it as well, so we can stay protected. This is a choice worth making.