Being a woman a two-edged sword when it comes to long-term care

Ladies, do you ever feel like you’re juggling so many balls in the air that if someone hands you one more ball, it’s all going to come crashing down?

Now add into the mix the startling statistic that 75 percent of unpaid caregivers are women, and those caregivers are providing 20 hours/week caring for their mother.

Being a woman is a two-edged sword when it comes to long-term care — we are both more apt to be the caregiver and the one ultimately needing care.

Sociological expectations dictate that women step into the role of caregiver first and indeed handle the most difficult tasks of helping with toileting, bathing and dressing.

The sacrifice of these caregivers is not just personal time – it is the physical stress of caregiving, time lost toward their career, parenting their own children or leading a healthy lifestyle.

Women are more apt to need care, too. We live longer than men, are more predisposed to Alzheimer’s and dementia and, in fact, typically need LTC for 1.5 years longer than men.

But as widows, we are more likely to live alone, with no one to help with daily activities and have less household income.

Here are three simple steps to help you prepare for these challenges:

1. Think about your life and the impact if you or a loved one would need care. Can you provide it without sacrificing your own career or financial well-being? Can you physically perform the tasks, or can you pay someone to do it for you?

2. Plan for LTC as a family. Talk with your spouse, siblings, parents and in-laws. Have a group meeting with a financial professional versed in LTC planning who can provide planning options and facilitate the discussion.

3. Visit and request a complimentary copy of Don Quante’s book, “Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home,” to start educating yourself on the many positive ways to solve the LTC challenge. Learn about veteran’s benefits, asset-based LTC solutions that also provide a death benefit for your heirs and how to leverage the cash value in existing annuities or life policies for tax-free LTC.

LTC costs can derail the most carefully thought-out retirement plan, so get started today – there’s no time to waste.

Article source: “What every woman should know about long-term care,” Lincoln Financial Group white paper, 2017.

Financial Planning & Investment Advisory Services are offered through Marsh Wealth Management, LLC, an independent investment advisor registered with the state of Tennessee. Yvonne Marsh is an Investment Advisor Representative of MWM in the state of Tennessee. Marsh Professional Group, LLC is a Tennessee registered public accounting firm and a separate legal entity from MWM. For a detailed discussion of MWM and their investment advisory fees, see the firm’s Form ADV on file with the SEC at