You may think that the prospect of needing a nursing home is far off. After all, you are still young, healthy and working. Why would you need to consider needing a nursing home? If you are saving for retirement, then you may also want to consider the possibility of needing long-term care in your later life.

The money you think you are saving to enjoy your retirement and “golden years” could end up going toward medical and medical-related care. The cost of the type of care you may need could wipe out your retirement savings and any assets you intended for your loved ones. Planning for long-term care now could help you to avoid this eventuality.

Start by considering what you want

When you think of nursing homes, what comes to mind for you? In recent years, a great deal of media attention has focused on the negative aspects of these facilities, which make it crucial to choose the right one. Some things you can consider as you contemplate this choice are in the list below:

  • Think about what you want out of the experience since you could be living there for a significant amount of time. Do you want a religious connection, good meals, nursing care, physical therapy or something else?
  • Call several facilities and schedule tours. You can learn a lot to answer the previous question by visiting some nursing homes.
  • Ask questions, even if they make you feel uncomfortable. If you wonder what that smell is or why the residents look the way they do, ask.
  • Ask yourself if the residents look happy. Do staff members and residents appear to interact well together, or does something seem “off?”
  • Does the facility have a high staff turnover? If so, it could be a sign that something isn’t right.
  • Go back to the nursing home unannounced. Hopefully, what you saw on your official tour will be the same on your second visit.

You may not need a nursing home yet, but having an understanding of what you expect versus what is out there may help in your planning. The nursing home care you want and expect could be costly. If you are like many other people, you’d rather not settle for a facility you don’t want.

Start planning now

You should definitely keep saving for the retirement you envision, but you may also want to consider taking steps to ensure you will receive the care you need in the way you want it if you end up needing to move into a nursing home at some point. An estate planning attorney can provide you with the options available to you that could help put you in a good place financially if the time comes.