Do you remember the blockbuster movie: The Perfect Storm? Basically a number of things had to fall in place for the storm of the century to occur...And so it goes with retirement. We all want the perfect retirement. Yet there are so many decisions to make before, during, and after retirement to ensure success. But things don’t just “fall in place” by accident. To help you enjoy retirement on your terms, I have a collection of brief insights that I write each month. My goal is to help you pursue the perfect retirement. Long Term Health Care - The Time to Start Planning is Now While most people have insurance for car, home and health, they haven’t planned for financing long-term care. Unfortunately, long-term care is so expensive that many people who enter such care risk losing their life savings within a year. Even a temporary stay in a nursing home can derail years of careful financial planning.According to the 2005 Cetera Financial Cost of Care Survey, the national average cost for a nursing home private room is $69,400 per year. The average cost for a semi-private room is $61,000 per year. Most people would rather receive care at home than be transferred to a nursing home, but that can be very expensive as well, with the average hourly rate for home health aides at $18.58. The good news is that by planning now you can increase your choices and reduce your financial risk.When all is said and done, you’re basically left with three choices when it comes to long-term care: rely on family; rely on the government; or rely on long-term care insurance. The first two options have significant limitations. Adult children and other family members often pay for long-term care in the form of lost wages and other unmeasured costs. And government programs like Medicare and Medicaid provide only limited care under specific conditions.Fortunately, the third option - long-term care insurance - will allow you to transfer the expense of long-term health care to an insurance company. As a result, you can select the type of care you want to receive and where you will receive it. This translates into freedom, control, integrity and flexibility for you.It’s hard to predict what lies ahead. But just as you plan for financial needs throughout your life, you need to think about your health care over the long term. Please contact me for more information on how I can help you better prepare for your long-term health care needs: Andy@AdvisorForLife.com or 800-204-6424. Family Meetings: Creating a Legacy Whether your family is close-knit or far-flung, modern-day entrepreneurs or stewards of long-established wealth, family meetings can be a good first step toward determination of family assets - and creation of a legacy.The first step to prepare for a family meeting is to make a list of everything you own, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, life insurance, bank accounts, real estate and anything else of more than modest value. I can help you review your list to see if some of the bank or brokerage accounts could be consolidated. If they cannot be consolidated or simplified, we’ll document the purpose of each account. Then, we’ll create a "financial roadmap" that discusses suggested involvement of tax and or legal professionals.With your paperwork organized and accounts consolidated, you are ready to hold your family meeting. Topics of discussion might include:1) Location of papers. You can start by letting your family members and heirs know the location of key papers, including your will, trust documents, list of assets, account statements, funeral instructions and any other estate planning documents you might have.2) Wills and beneficiaries. Obviously, your will should be up to date, but your beneficiaries should also be designated. Family members should be aware of who has been designated for what.3) Property. Discuss key real estate assets and what you wish to have done with them. Determine whether the real estate has sentimental value or if it should be sold. Also, talk about distribution of personal assets or heirlooms such as furniture or china.4) Power of attorney. Consider executing a health-care power of attorney so your family knows your wishes concerning life-prolonging medical procedures. A financial power of attorney should also be considered.5) Last - and perhaps more important - the family meeting provides an excellent venue to discuss family values. Some common themes are:A) Wealth values: To what end will your family manage and build its wealth? B) Business values: How should the family business operate? In what industries? For what purpose? C) Philanthropic values: What is the role of the family in the community? What should members of the family do to ensure the community remains healthy? To discuss your specific financial needs and the role a CRT can play, call me today: 800-204-6424. Remember, my goal it to help you enjoy the perfect retirement. We are here to help, so contact us today at: Andy@AdvisorForLife.com or call 800-204-6424.