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It has become increasingly apparent that Americans are grossly unprepared for retirement, likely because they underestimate just how much money they will need to survive their golden years. This is especially true in the case of long-term care insurance, as many people question its necessity, and whether or not the price of a policy is worth undertaking.

Research shows that approximately 15 million Americans will need a high level of long-term care by the year 2050. This fact is also accompanied by a 110 percent projected increase in diagnosed Alzheimer’s cases between 2010 and 2050, thus lowering the likelihood of a treatment or cure being discovered — meaning there will be another influx of individuals with high long-term care needs.

It is imperative we break this trend of negligence when it comes to retirement. With that in mind, let us highlight the ways in which Americans can properly finance their retirement and long-term care needs in tandem.

Invest in long-term care insurance

As previously mentioned, an increased number of Americans will need long-term care in some way, shape, or form. Therefore, it is important to prepare for such needs early in life, when one is in relatively good health and at their best level of insurability. Otherwise, they will likely pay more for their insurance over time, as premiums only rise with the age of the applicant.

Establish how much you need to save

It is all too easy to be convinced to save a specific amount for retirement, especially when so many news headlines and articles written by so-called industry experts revolve around this topic. However, most of those stories only push out the average amount average retirees will need to save in order to live comfortably.

Therefore, it is always recommended that you seek the insight of a financial professional, as they will be more equipped to evaluate and formulate a retirement plan based on your specific financial and medical needs.

Seek government aid

Regardless of how prepared you believe you are for retirement, life can still throw you curveballs. If you are faced with unexpected costs or your income dips below a certain level, it may be beneficial for you to seek government aid. Although this is not the most ideal option, and aid is not always guaranteed, it may take some financial burdens off your shoulders and allow you to breathe a little easier.

Clearly, it is imperative that we plan for every stage of life. Otherwise, we may find ourselves struggling  — or even working — through our golden years. To prevent such a thing from happening and to discover the long-term financial plan that is right for you, please make an appointment with your trusted financial expert.