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It is no secret that Americans are not the most adept at planning for retirement. In many cases, it is because they put off the task of forming a reliable retirement plan until it was too little too late. However, it is never too late to break this trend and begin thinking of — if not fully pursuing — a retirement plan that will make your golden years truly enjoyable.

Throughout this process, it is imperative that you and your trusted financial planner do not simply skim the surface, as there are many expenses that soon-to-be retirees do not even take into consideration when they begin saving — mostly because they are unpleasant to think of.

For instance, many retirees are convinced they they will remain in their current homes for the rest of their days, brushing off even the mere possibility of needing the finances to pay for assisted living care or, at worst, nursing home expenses — which, these days, can be as hefty as $100,000 annually.

With that in mind, let us explore the reasons why you should include long-term care in your retirement planning.

You will find greater peace of mind

It is always better to be prepared than blind-sided. Therefore, it is imperative that you and your spouse sit down with a trusted financial professional and not only discuss the uncomfortable topics — such as the exact costs of living assistance and nursing homes in your area, and even the likelihood of being able to remain in your own home due to mobility or other health-related factors — but prepare for them as well.

While it may be a distressing conversation in the moment, you will likely look back and thank yourself for taking such precautions — especially if it turns out you or your spouse needs more or less care than you would have originally anticipated.

You will discover options that are right for you

All too often, retirees are not aware of the retirement programs that are — and always have been — available to them. For instance, long-term care insurance policies are only offered by a small number of companies, but they prove to be worthwhile in the long-run — especially if one applies for a policy while they are still young and in relatively good health. This not only locks in one’s insurability, but lowers the cost of their premium as well, allowing them to allocate even more of their income toward their growing retirement fund.

Evidently, there are extraordinary benefits to taking the time to thoroughly plan for retirement. Let this be the starting point of your own journey — where you put yourself in the driver’s seat of your life, think smarter, and prioritize your own long-term care and comfort.