Senior financial planning: What everyone needs to know

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®

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If you watch Local 4 News in the morning on Mondays you might be familiar with our Money Monday segment.

Every week at 6:10 a.m. Monday it’s my opportunity to talk about one of my favorite topics; personal finance. For many people this is a very uncomfortable subject, which is precisely the point. As the first ever working journalist to attain Certified Financial Planner Professional™ status, I have spent years learning the subject. As a broadcaster, I want to offer the Local 4 audience (or anyone else willing to listen) new ways to understand money and ways to make your money work for you, not the other way around.

I firmly believe even at one minute a week I can help you improve your life through more sound financial decision making.

Support-Our-Seniors Summer

So, what is "Support-Our-Seniors Summer?" Well, to keep current and find new Money Minutes I do a lot of reading. Lately I’ve been looking into senior financial planning issues. It is such a wide a complex area I’ve been reluctant in the past to spend a lot of time on it. One minute is insufficient to explain Long Term Care. But as I see the entire senior financial area morphing before our eyes, an idea blossomed. While things like Long Term Care, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are very complicated, intricate subjects; if broken up into small pieces, we can make some needed headway. In addition, pretty much every American is going to be impacted by all of this in the years to come based on the nation’s changing demographics.

So, let’s look at some eye opening facts and statistics about senior living to get some perspective on why I know this is all a necessary departure.

Did you know? 

  1. The oldest Baby Boomer will turn 75 in 2020?    
  2. 10,000 Boomers turn 65 every day?
  3. 70% of us Americans over the age of 65 will need some kind of Long Term Care?
  4. Long Term Care is an overarching term for a lot of differing kinds of senior assistance?
  5. Long Term care can be Medical or Non-Medical?
  6. 42% of us will need nursing home care at some time in our lives?
  7. Medicare will NOT pay for any of this?

Now that you have heard this, you might ask yourself:

  • Are you ready for this?
  • Is your family ready for this?
  • Have you done any planning for your senior needs?
  • Do you have any earthly idea how you will pay for your Long Term Care needs?
  • Do you have the resources readily available to start working on these subjects when the time comes?

The quick answer to all of these questions is more than likely no! What’s more, you have no idea where to begin, what questions to ask or where to find resources. Money Mondays and the Money Monday page on ClickOnDetroit can become your one stop shopping spot. On Monday June 17 we will start building your understanding.

You might say, well I’m not a senior so this doesn’t matter to me. Let’s think about that a little more carefully. If you are fortunate enough to not need this care right now, great! You likely have parents or grandparents or other relatives already navigating this often budget busting road. It’s likely they don’t know much about this either. And while it is easier to say out “of sight, out of mind”, the fact of the matter is the vast majority of Long Term Care happens in a senior’s home, usually provided by other family members.

Having a clue is a leg up on the already anxiety inducing path we all take as we age. So, this summer, let’s commit to getting this chapter in your family’s life right. Let’s relieve some of the pressure, get ahead of the curve, which will allow you to make advised decisions instead of forced ones.

Watch my Money Monday reports under the “Supporting-Our-Seniors Summer” Banner. You can also read about these issues at the following links. Let’s get smarter with our money the old fashioned way, by working at it!

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