The Likelihood You’ll Need Long-Term Care

A hacker’s guide to protecting yourself online
June 25, 2021
Retire with Money
Long-term care insurance can be a hard sell, perhaps because no one wants what it pays for. We don’t want to imagine a future of needing help with basic tasks like bathing and dressing. Maybe the product should be called something more positive, like “preserve-your-financial-legacy insurance” or “ensure-your-heirs-don’t-scrimp-on-your-care-insurance.” Branding matters. So does thinking about how you’ll handle the likelihood that you’ll need some help later in life, which Medicare doesn’t cover. Long-term care insurance isn’t the only solution. A fiduciary financial advisor (one who puts your needs first) can walk you through the options and calculate how far your savings might go toward future needs. Learn more about the probability of needing long-term care in today’s edition.

Best wishes,
Elizabeth
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Please help me welcome our reader of the week! Tina Lam, 70, lives with her husband in Durango, Colorado.
What are you up to these days?

I retired in 2012 after 30 years as a journalist, but my husband is just now starting a phased retirement. In the meantime, since he usually couldn’t join me, I traveled around the U.S. and Mexico by myself and with friends. In 2018, we bought our dream house in Durango, Colorado, the town where we both grew up, with a plan to retire there. During the pandemic, we sped up our timetable, sold our house in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where we’d lived for almost 40 years, and relocated to Durango. Now, I do a lot of hiking out our back door, kayaking, skiing, snowshoeing and biking.

I worried a lot about what I would do in retirement, since I had a busy career. But after day one, I never looked back. I discovered that I didn’t need to be so busy to be happy, and that sitting on my deck looking at the mountains is a fine way to spend a few hours.

How nice! What’s your savings philosophy?

Live well below your means. Our cars are seven and 22 years old. Until our dream house, our homes  have always been modest. We saved every penny we could, siphoning it off into investment and savings accounts as soon as the paychecks hit the bank. We are DIY-ers. My husband uses TurboTax to do our taxes and I do all our investing, reading every finance magazine, story and daily finance newsletter I can find.

I waited until I was 70 to collect Social Security, but I was lucky to have a small pension and lots of money in retirement accounts, as well as a still-working spouse. I empathize with those who can’t do that.

At the same time, you have to play and have fun along the way. We took advantage of sabbaticals, conferences and other travel opportunities and didn’t scrimp on those. I never left a vacation day on the table, and took all overtime as time off. On every vacation, we went somewhere. Now that we know we’re in fine financial shape, I’d be mad at myself if we hadn’t done those things, just to save money. Some things are worth spending on.

Very true. Any regrets you’d like to share?

None about money or retiring, but our one regret is that our son and his family (we have three wonderful grandkids) live in California. At least we now live closer. We decided we didn’t want to buy a shoebox with no outdoor space just to live near them, since California houses are so expensive, so it’s a good compromise. We spend plenty on Airbnbs, a month at a time, and it’s still cheaper than buying!

Retirement News From Around The Web

What You (and Your Doctor) Don’t Understand About Dementia Might Hurt You
While 90% of patients want to be told of a dementia diagnosis, only 78% of health care providers said they always tell patients the truth, according to a recent AARP survey that exposes misperceptions and miscommunications about brain health. NEXT AVENUE

A Simple Mental Shift May Help You Make Better Decisions About Your Money
Treat your money as if it feels happy to grow through compound interest and is proud to provide for your life by paying your bills, suggests the author of the book, “The 5 Years Before You Retire.”   EMILY GUY BIRKEN

How to Discover Your Best Spending Rate in Retirement
Don’t assume your expenses will go down in retirement, and don’t forget your rainy day fund. CNBC

Can Employers Ask Your Age on Job Applications?
Rules vary by state. AARP

Elizabeth O'Brien is deputy editor at Money. She has covered retirement and health care for nearly a decade. A Brooklyn resident and mom of two boys, she navigates the alphabet soup of Medicare and the New York City subway system with equal ease. You can email her at elizabeth.obrien@money.com and follow her on Twitter at @elizobrien.
This newsletter is free because Money earns a commission when you click or make purchases from the links in this email and on our site. We also receive compensation for some of the products and services featured in this message. Offers may be subject to change without notice. Learn more about how we make money.

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