It’s hard to predict the future. And when it comes to your health, predictions can become even more difficult and stress inducing. But choosing a Life Plan Community with a continuum of care and a life care contract — like Friendsview — can give you a smart plan for the future. We call our combination of long-term care preparedness and practicality “future care,” but you and your family may refer to it as true peace of mind.
What is life care and how does it work? To see the benefits of life care, let’s start with how much you should plan to pay in health care costs after you retire. According to the Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, in 2019, the average 65-year-old couple can expect to need approximately $285,000 (after taxes) to cover their retirement health care expenses. But that number could go up or down depending on where you retire, your and your spouse’s health, and how long you both live. One thing to consider is the $285,000 estimate doesn’t include the cost of long-term care.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts 70% of seniors ages 65 and older will need some type of long-term care for an average of three years. Long-term care insurance provider Genworth estimates the monthly cost for assisted living care in the Portland, Oregon, area at $4,998/month, and nursing care with a private room at $10,828/month.
What is the difference between health care and long-term care?
Health care typically includes (services covered by the $285,000 mentioned above):
- Doctor’s visits
- Diagnostic testing
- Medical equipment
- Mental health services
Long-term care deals with the basic needs of daily living, including:
- Eating and meal preparation
- Getting dressed
- Help with general mobility like moving from a bed to a chair, and managing stairs
- Bathing and bathroom issues
- Specialized care for those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia
- Nursing care
- Short- and long-term rehabilitation
The financial predictability of life care.
As one of the few life care communities in Oregon, Friendsview offers a Type A life care contract. That means residents pay an entrance fee at move-in and an ongoing monthly fee. If you or your spouse ever needs a higher level of care — enhanced living, memory support, nursing care, or care at home — your monthly fee remains at our independent living rates. When you compare that to Genworth’s monthly market costs for long-term care, your savings could be substantial. Plus, a portion of your entrance and monthly fees may be tax-deductible as a medical expense. It’s important to talk with your tax adviser about this benefit.
What if I have long-term care insurance?
Your long-term care insurance policy can be used with our life care contract to provide you with additional financial benefits. Before deciding what to do with your long-term care insurance policy, consult your insurance provider or financial consultant.
But it’s about more than long-term care.
When planning for the future, it’s important to look beyond your physical needs and consider the whole person. What’s so great about Life Plan Communities is that they offer more than long-term care and take into consideration your emotional, mental and spiritual health as well. They offer an environment that encourages wellness, lifelong learning and personal enrichment. As a resident of our Life Plan Community, you can enjoy all the services, amenities, social and continuing education opportunities our community offers. If the unexpected happens and you or your spouse needs long-term care, you’ll still be on our campus surrounded by people you already know and trust.
What else should I consider when researching Life Plan Communities?
There are other benefits to choosing a Life Plan Community that you may not have thought about before:
- You’re not in this alone. In a Life Plan Community, there’s an entire team of professionals dedicated to supporting you. But it’s not only the staff that has your back — it’s other residents. Residents are in it for the long haul, encouraging and uplifting one another in meaningful and thoughtful ways. These residents want to invest in their future within the community and find interest in making it a good life with the people they surround themselves with.
- Choice-filled options allow for growth. Communities such as Friendsview that are committed to your health also provide numerous choice-filled dining options, exercise programs, faith-centered programs and continuing education. Options can provide a sense of control and allow for continued growth and purposeful living.
Certainty of culture. As you consider different communities and life plan contracts, the culture and mission may not be top concerns. But they should be. Eliminating the uncertainty of changing values and possible buyouts is one more benefit to choosing a Life Plan Community.
Learn more about the benefits of future care.
At Friendsview, because our future care provides financial predictability and access to exceptional care for life, no matter how your needs change, there’s a lot of interest in our community. As a result, we currently have a waiting list, which we call our intent list. If you’d like to learn more about how joining our intent list can help secure your future, or you want a copy of our future care intent list application, please use our Contact form, and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.
Nikki Deckon has been on staff at Friendsview since 2018 in various roles and in long term care for several years. Before working with seniors, she wrote/produced hundreds of talk radio programs and vignettes; was published in a couple of editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul and other print publications including The Oregonian, Kids NW, The Sun and more. After twenty years of marriage she feels that she’s still in the “honeymoon” phase and is enjoying raising her teenage boys in Newberg, a mere two miles from Friendsview.