McCann-WEBLife expectancy and health trends are constantly evolving. Recent data from the Alzheimer’s Association validate why financial planning is more important than ever. Keep reading to learn how health trends and long-term planning needs go hand in hand.

Deaths from Alzheimer’s more than doubled between 2000 and 2019, while those from heart disease decreased. Alzheimer’s kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Progression is slow and can be uncertain. People age 65 and older survive an average of four to eight years after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, though some live as long as 20 years.

Preparing for long-term care is an important part of your financial planning process. After diagnosis of a serious illness, your options become more limited.

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia take a devastating toll – not just on those with the disease, but on entire families. Research shows that millions of care contributors make enormous personal financial sacrifices every day, including cutting back on important necessities for themselves and their families.

About 80 percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from family, friends, or other unpaid caregivers. About 25 percent of dementia caregivers are “sandwich generation” caregivers, meaning they care for both an aging parent and at least one child.

Many people have misconceptions about what expenses Medicare and Medicaid cover, leaving them unprepared to handle the tremendous costs associated with the disease. An Alzheimer’s Association survey found 13 percent sold personal belongings, such as a car, to help pay for costs related to dementia. Nearly half tapped into savings or retirement funds, and 11 percent cut back on spending for their children’s education.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

There are a variety planning options that can help preserve your income and investments, while ensuring you and your loved ones will not have to sacrifice quality care or basic life necessities in the event of a long-term illness. Your advisor can help you explore and understand those options, and develop a plan that fits your needs.

Women Celebrating BirthdayLiving with Alzheimer’s

♦ An estimated 6.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s; two-thirds are women.

♦ African-Americans are about two times more likely to have Alzheimer’s than Whites; Hispanics are one and one-half times more likely.

♦ People living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias have more skilled nursing facility stays, more home health care visits, and twice as many hospital stays per year as other older people.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association