That's why she purchased long-term care insurance.
"I didn't want to be a burden to my kids," she said.
"I'm perfectly healthy now, but you never know what's going to happen," she said.
Harrison has seen firsthand how the cost of medical care could deplete those funds during the last eight months of her late husband's life.
She said she left her job in the medical field while he was sick, and they lived off their savings.
"I wanted to be the one to take care of him," she said.
Years earlier, the couple had taken a
That fund was what kept them afloat while he battled cancer.
"It was the smartest thing we ever did as a couple," she said. "It could have been catastrophic."
She works full time three days a week as a medical technician at
She's looking to retire in about a year but stays on the job because of the cost of medical insurance.
She recently had a total knee replacement and wants to work as long as she can.
"I don't want to take my children's hard-earned money," she said. "It's one less worry that I have, and it's worth every penny."
People start thinking about long-term care around the holidays because families get together and notice big changes in the abilities of their parents, said
"A lot of times people see changes that are disguised over the phone," said Beckham.
Sometimes this means talking about whether parents should move in with their adult children or a nursing home.
That's about the time when Beckham will start getting calls from people seeing whether they can still enroll in long-term care insurance.
She recommends people start looking at coverage sooner than later because being insured allows people the option of living in their homes longer without liquidating retirement funds.
Before there is any help from the government for long-term care, a person must only have
People of any age who suddenly find themselves in need of round-the-clock attention could benefit from this insurance because it's not covered by health insurance or
People who need home care pay completely out of pocket, unless it's paid for by long-term care insurance.
This could include help buttoning a shirt or cooking.
The cost of employing the help of a home health aide in
With most policies, she said, once a person starts receiving care they no longer have to pay the premiums.
She said it's a good idea to start planning for long-term care by the age of 40 because the policy prices are based on age, marital status, gender, health and family history, and the sooner a person enrolls, the better chance they have of getting discounts or covered at all.
While long-term care insurance is not standardized, a company cannot cancel the policy if a person's health changes.
According to a
But Beckham said 81 percent of those receiving long-term care insurance benefits use it to pay for home care and assisted living facilities.
That survey reports the average monthly cost of residing in an assisted living facility in
Knowing about the type of home-, community- and facility-based services could help determine whether long-term care insurance is a viable option.
But not having a plan at all could lead to a stressful situation down the road.
"It's the biggest risk people face to their retirement funds and about the only risk that people don't insure against," she said.
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