Planning Basics for Long-Term Care

There’s a lot of fear surrounding long-term care. Quoted statistics fuel the angst about this unknown. When articulated, the horror involves living out one’s last days abandoned and suffering in a poorly-run nursing home. Alternative dreads include spending down family assets to pay for quality care or leaching the joie de vivre from family members by asking them to provide care.

A frequently promoted solution to relieving this anxiety is long-term care insurance. There are many variables to living and dying, along with changeable elements in the cost and nature of insurance and care. I won’t predict what might happen or cover all aspects of long-term care and insurance today. But I’ll offer insights into the basics of planning for long-term care.

Planning with a Mortgage Amortization Schedule

A mortgage amortization schedule can be useful for: comparing my loan-balance calculations to the mortgage company’s records; identifying when mortgage insurance should no longer be required; planning the payoff of the mortgage prior to retirement or another significant life change; recognizing how much of the payment goes to insurance, taxes, etc. and will continue even after the mortgage is paid; analyzing the impact of extra payments (and later comparing this impact to the benefit of using those funds for a purpose other than mortgage payoff). Inside, there’s a link to a downloadable schedule.

How to Set and Reach Financial Goals with Betterment

For many years, I have been resistant to the idea of setting financial goals; instead, I have opted to accumulate wealth so that I have the means to make purchases when needed. This wealth-building approach can be effective, and is certainly better than not saving, investing, and growing assets.

Still, there are at least a couple of shortcomings to general wealth building: 1) I’m not sure when my goal has been achieved; and 2) I’m reluctant to spend down the assets that I’ve worked so hard to accumulate, largely because I’m not clear about the purpose of my investments and the timing of withdrawals.

Goal setting can inspire me to save and invest, and make me feel happier and more secure about spending.