Long Term Care Insurance
Is It Right For You?
Because there is so much information available throughout the internet, it can be difficult to drill down, get the basics, straight answers and accurate pricing, so that you can answer the question of “Is Long Term Care Planning Right For Me?” With the educational information available on this website and a little help from The Long Term Care Lady℠, our goal here is to help you get the full story and all that you need to decide if purchasing long term care insurance is right for you!
Today, 80% of all Americans will live beyond 65 years of age. And for every 10 people who do just that, 4 will need some form of long term care during their lifetime — that’s almost one of every two people! (Get the facts with a complimentary published book with cited resources to learn the real risks and how to plan, available at the bottom of this page.)
Take into consideration the 80 million Baby Boomers set to live many, many years into retirement and we have the biggest financial risk facing most Americans – the cost of Long Term Care. The potential for financial devastation through premature depletion of assets is great, especially when you factor in that ugly word “inflation” which is estimated to at least double the cost of care every 15 years or so.
But, the Baby Boomers aren’t the only generation that will be facing this crisis!
The Y Millenial Generation (those born between 1976-1995 or 1988-2001 depending on the source) is bigger than the baby boomer generation and roughly 3 times the size of Generation X (1964 to the mid or late 1970’s). This Y Generation follows the powerful Baby Boomer generation which spiked after World War II, representing approximately 26% of our population.
Today’s long term care insurance carriers see this looming crisis that extends beyond the need for just a typical pre-retiree to plan for future long term care costs. That’s why some long term care insurance companies are offering ways to include other family members in their plan to share benefits or offer multiple policy discounts, just like an employer group. Also, as a function of estate planning today we see multi-generational provisions for long term care, too!
Now let’s add to this mix the ever-changing landscape of U.S. Government entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and the restrictions and reductions to these programs that have been happening over the past decade. The most recent reduction of $15 billion in Medicare benefits phased in over the next 10 years occurred in 2009 plus the additional changes included in the 2010 Health Care Reform. See 2010 Health Care Reform and CLASS Act.
The message is clear, and to quote Ben Franklin:
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Our society has shifted away from extended family all living under one roof or in close proximity to each other in the same town. Our families are spread all over the world, and most of us value our independence. But maybe that will change again by default if the looming cost of care crisis forces unprepared families to take in relatives that need care.
But enough about the concerns of why people consider purchasing Long Term Care Insurance.
Most people who do purchase protection feel that having ‘something’ in place is better than ‘nothing,’ and protect some of their assets. Since you get to decide how much insurance to purchase, many people have felt that having a policy to cover at least half the expense is a solid back-up plan fitting perfectly into their budget and allowing their income to make up the difference. This allows most long term care insurance policyholders to maintain their independence and control, to be able to afford to pay for quality care where they want to receive it, to protect their families or spouses from the physical and financial burdens of long term care, protect assets and income from long term care expenses, and have peace of mind knowing you are protected against catastrophic losses.
Also, the built-in Care Coordination Benefits of having your own Personal Long Term Care Advocate, who helps you and your family make important and objective decisions about your care in a time of crisis, is one of the main attributes mentioned by wealthier families who have decided to purchase this protection. If you have 15 minutes, watch this movie moderated by Mr. Kiplinger of Kiplinger’s Finance. He mentions he owns long term care insurance, too!
That ‘something’ I’m referring to as a way to have some partial form of protection can sometimes include looking at alternatives to a traditional long term care insurance policy, such as life insurance that has a long term care rider, or a long term care annuity. While these alternatives are considered secondary in preference to today’s comprehensive long term care insurance plans because they do have their limitations, they serve dual purposes and might be appropriate for the younger professional as a temporary measure or for the uninsurable spouse. In fact, a trend we are seeing is that some families choose both a modern comprehensive long term care insurance plan plus an alternative plan as a back-up, a blend of both, that can offer savings plus, for some, additional tax advantages.
We are encouraging you to know for yourself — find out the facts and educate yourself. We like to keep things simple, so to help you do just that, complete the form below and we’ll get you started with a short booklet of facts you can read while waiting for our phone call. We will need to have a brief conversation about what’s important to you and your health so we can prepare recommendations for your consideration.