Retirement: What's Your Plan?

With increased longevity and medical advancements, many retirees are concerned about the possibility of outliving their savings. And when it comes to retirement, you want to enjoy it—and that means you want to be prepared. There are many considerations to think about in retirement besides your living expenses, such as where you live, family support, your health, and the rising costs of care. That's why it's so important to plan now for any long term care you may need.

Long term care is the ongoing care you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks by yourself due to chronic illness, injury, disability, or the aging process. This type of care is expensive, and is generally not covered by traditional types of insurance plans or Medicare.

One common misconception about long term care is that it is primarily nursing home care. Actually, most long term care is provided at home, and friends and family are often the first people called upon to provide care.

Assuming the role of caregiver can have a significant financial and emotional impact. Without support or assistance, these caregivers can suffer from depression, lost wages, physical injury, and disrupted personal relationships. Many are pulled in two directions, caring for both their children and their parents, which can be an incredible challenge.

Planning for long term care can be unpleasant. But considering the high costs of care and the toll on family caregivers, it's essential to consider your options should the need arise.

Face the future with confidence

Long term care insurance, such as the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP), may be a smart way to help protect everything you've worked for during your retirement.

Since 2002, the FLTCIP has offered Federal employees and annuitants the opportunity to take control of their future long term care needs by applying for long term care insurance. Designed to be both comprehensive and flexible, the FLTCIP covers a range of caregivers and settings.

Your choice of caregiver and setting

Today, many individuals prefer to remain at home, rather than receive long term care in a facility, such as an assisted living facility or a nursing home. The FLTCIP includes services that support care in your home, helping you maintain your quality of life in familiar surroundings.

The FLTCIP covers approved care provided at home by informal caregivers such as friends, family members, and other private caregivers, as well as formal care by licensed caregivers. Informal care provided by friends and family members is covered under the FLTCIP, as long as the caregiver isn't your spouse or domestic partner and doesn't live in your home at the time you become eligible for benefits. (Benefits for care provided by family members is limited to 500 days.) Having such coverage helps spouses maintain their current lifestyle and minimizes the financial and emotional sacrifices adult children are often asked to make when a long term care event occurs.

The FLTCIP's stay-at-home benefit can help you remain at home safely and maintain your quality of life. Valuable covered services may include care-planning visits, modifications to your home, an emergency medical response system, durable medical equipment, caregiver training (training an informal caregiver to perform personal care services at the enrollee's home), and home safety checks.

As you consider long term care insurance and enrolling in the FLTCIP, think about how you would like to receive care and by whom. Keep in mind that even when home care is provided by a licensed caregiver, a small amount of informal assistance can often make the difference in whether you are able to stay at home or need to move to a facility setting. And being able to reimburse your informal caregiver can sometimes make the difference in whether he or she is able to provide the care you need.

Plan ahead today

To learn more about the FLTCIP's comprehensive benefits and features, visit the Program Details section of our website.

The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program is sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, insured by John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company, and administered by Long Term Care Partners, LLC.

Note: It's important that you apply for long term care insurance when you are in good health. Certain medical conditions, or combinations of conditions, will prevent some people from being approved for coverage. You need to apply to find out if you qualify for coverage under the FLTCIP.

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