Two Easy Ways to Set Up Your “Comprehensive Long-Term Care Plan”

Steve McDonald By Steve McDonald
Bond Strategist, The Oxford Club



If there’s one part of aging that no one wants to discuss, it’s our weakened decision-making ability.

But like it or not, as we get older, we become less capable of complex decision-making.

There are always exceptions, like the 90-year-old who’s still “sharp as a tack,” but the vast majority of us will need a fallback plan for when we’re not “tack-like” anymore.

If you haven’t already figured it out, investments are one of the most complex aspects of our lives.

Some folks never figure out how to manage them. But even those who do will have to prepare to ask for help in the future.

At some point, our portfolios, investment accounts and personal finances will become too complex for us to manage.

And at that point, we’ll need a comprehensive long-term care plan. And this “plan” involves much more than just long-term care insurance…

The first part involves simplifying the financial aspects of your retirement plan.

If you’re accustomed to managing a stock portfolio yourself, monitoring the day-to-day details, and tracking earnings, revenues, etc., forget about it!

The simple fact is, at some point, you won’t be able to handle it by yourself. And that’s where your simplified retirement plan comes in.

You’ll need to appoint someone to manage it for you (like a trusted relative, friend or professional), and they’ll help you set up a transition plan to transfer control so you don’t drop the ball and lose a ton of money.

Or the alternative is that you shift gears so your income is not dependent on the stock market.

You can achieve this by focusing on sustainable income. I’m talking money that automatically shows up in your account each month.

This would include interest income from bonds, annuities or even a structured payout plan from a portfolio of funds (that last one is not my first choice for reasons I’ll address in another piece).

No matter what income sources you choose, it’s critical to begin thinking about your future management plan now…

Before your situation reaches “critical mass.” And by that I mean before the point when your mental faculties begin to go.

But if dementia or Alzheimer’s has already set in, it is probably too late.

If you have a child, spouse or partner who can step in and help out, you’re lucky.  That’s because the financial damage that can be done by a person with diminished capacity is something you have to see to believe.

Failing to file tax returns, for example, is one of the earliest symptoms. And if you find yourself in this situation, you’ll be eaten alive by penalties and interest.

You’ve also got to plan in advance, simply because it’s a legal nightmare to get control of another person’s assets once he or she is mentally incapacitated.

This isn’t what any of us want to face – and it’s something many of us secretly fear – but it’s coming for all of us. So it’s something we’ve got to prepare for.

Do everyone in your life a favor and start transitioning now.

Good investing,