How to Financially Prepare for a Longer Life

By: Fernando Suarez, CFP, CLU, ChFC, Northwestern Mutual
Friday, July 4, 2014

If you ask, many people will tell you they are not afraid of dying so much as afraid of outliving their resources. No one looks forward to the time when they can no longer care for themselves. When that time comes, the ability to live the best life possible will depend on preparations made today. We can work toward the best outcomes by exercising, eating right, staying mentally fit and financially preparing.

Long-term care can be expensive, and the costs can quickly impact a person’s financial security. People are living longer, which increases the odds of developing a chronic illness that could require ongoing care. If the day comes when you are unable to perform basic activities of daily living, such as dressing yourself, getting in and out of bed, eating a meal, or going to the bathroom alone, you will need to be prepared for the costs of paying professional caregivers for the help you need.

As healthcare costs escalate, an increasing number of people are protecting themselves by planning for long-term care. Though Medicare generally covers skilled care for acute conditions, such as heart attacks and broken bones, it does not cover the custodial care required with many chronic medical conditions.

When making plans for a secure retirement, it’s also important to consider long-term care needs as a means to help protect your assets so they aren’t exhausted by possible extended-care costs. Planning ahead can help you maintain your independence and ensure you have the financial security needed to live your life in the way you choose.

Quite a few factors should be considered when planning for long-term care. For this reason, it’s important to work with a financial professional who understands your needs and can design a plan that will meet those needs at a cost you can afford. Specifically, look for a financial professional who is supported by a well-established company with a solid history of strength and stability — a company that is well-positioned to deliver long-term value and will be there when you need it most.

The right long-term care plan can provide you with options for how and where you receive the care you need. It can also give you choices about how and where your final years are lived. And maybe, with such a plan, you can eliminate the fear of outliving your resources.

Fernando Suarez

Article prepared by Northwestern Mutual with the cooperation of licensed insurance agent Fernando Suarez, a wealth management advisor and the Managing Director for Northwestern Mutual in San Antonio. He leads a team that works extensively with physicians and hand-in-hand with professionals from all lines of business, enabling clients to receive one-on-one, personalized solutions and comprehensive financial planning. To contact Suarez, please call 210-616-0900 or email Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and its subsidiaries.