Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Planning for the future.

I have observed individuals suffering from numerous diseases over my life.  Recently, with my own diagnosis of LBD I have observed other individuals with dementia related diseases and most of them share one issue, they had no planning for their future.  Yes, I know that no one thinks they will have a terminal disease when they are young.  As a young person, we consider ourselves "Bullet Proof"!  But as we age, we find out we are not.  But planning is your best friend for the future.  Purchasing long term care insurance when you are young ensures the cost is lower and the coverage is better.  Saving for future retirement early will allow your interest to compound and your investment to multiply many times over.  These are concepts we all hear about but pay little attention to.  We would rather drive that Corvette, have the big house, or take that vacation to Tahiti.  But those luxuries will not be there when you need cafe in your senior years.

My wife and I have toured many Continuing Care Communities and attended many Senior Health Fairs in order to learn more about our options.  We have also attended Alzheimer's Association's events and have gained a wealth of information from that wonderful organization.  Your city may have a senior services bureau like Virginia Beach does.  All of these resources help you plan your future.  But the best information I can offer you is to Learn, plan and act on your future.

Some people question us about our proactive approach to our future living conditions.  They would rather react to the circumstances of life that being as prepared as they can be.  But trust me, it is hard to get insurance after the doctor tells you that you have a terminal condition.  It is like trying to get car insurance to cove an accident you have already been involved in!  So, plan ahead, as far as you can.

Another area of importance is Elder Law.  Who will make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated?  Who will handle your financial matters if you cannot.  These are big issues when the individual is medically incapacitated.  Some people tell me; "My wife will do it."  Maybe, but in some states selling houses requires a power of attorney specifically stating the sale of real estate.  Again, do your research BEFORE you need this help.  Contact the Alzheimer's Association for more information.

Lastly, discuss this information with you family.  Let them know your wishes while you can and get them written down in a legal document.  DO your research and protect your rights as well as your family's rights.

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