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Should you set easy or challenging long-term care goals?

The new year is almost here, and that means many people are thinking about goals and making plans for 2017. If you are at a stage in your life when long-term care planning makes sense, the new year is a great time to consider those plans. Many people fail to see how goals and long-term care planning align.

Goal setting means writing down specific goals associated with your plans. Then, you take the long-term goals and break them up into shorter goals that are easier to achieve within weeks, months or years. As you achieve those short-term goals, you work toward your long-term goal.

The long-term goal in care planning should be to create a financial and health situation that is most optimal in later years. That means making provisions for medical and other care if you are no longer able to sustain an independent lifestyle. It might also mean setting fitness and health goals so you can maintain independence as long as possible.

Some people default to the minimum that is needed for this type of situation, but one expert says to set goals that are challenging. If you shoot for the moon and fall short, you still make it to outer space.

When considering long-term care planning, set goals for the best care, the biggest savings and the most optimal health situation. At the same time, plan for less optimal situations so all your bases are covered. If you need help understanding what types of legal and medical situations you might need to plan for, consider consulting a care planning and elder law professional. He or she can help you understand what to shoot for and what short-term steps are necessary to get there.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Best Goal-Setting Advice I Ever Received," Elizabeth Rider, accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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