Let's talk... about long term care.


An insurance expert has all the answers on why long term should be part of your financial strategy.

So you think you don’t need long term care? You’re not the only one. If after reading this article your opinion on long term care insurance has changed, let me know! I am here to answer any questions you might have.

Making the case for long term care: What is it and why is it important?

You are following the rules in the book of life: study, work, marry, form a family, start your retirement planning early, protect your family financially, send your kids to college...check. But then an unexpected event turns your independent lifestyle into a dependent one. You can no longer take care of yourself, and chances are that whatever you had saved up for retirement will be used to cover unexpected medical and living costs.

The purpose of any kind of insurance is to protect you and your family financially in the event that anything unexpected happens along the road of life. A long term care policy helps you continue on that road safely, protected and with the standard of living you have achieved so far.

Long term care is defined as the assistance provided by a professional to an individual who can no longer take care of her or his basic needs--getting dressed, eating, bathing, etc. due to a cognitive impairment, illness, or disability. The array of services needed when a person is facing this situation range from home care and assisted living to adult day care or a nursing home.

A long term care policy is used to protect your assets so you don’t lose everything you have saved. The policy benefits pay for your care in the setting that you choose, giving you the freedom to stay in the familiar setting of you home. When you cannot care for yourself, being able to continue living at home is often a huge physical and emotional comfort.

“A long term policy supplements your living expenses while you’re under the weather” comments Susana Krieger, who has been an insurance professional for over 20 years. “Because you can’t foresee the future, a long term care insurance policy will help cover the expenses you might incur due to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, when you will definitely need assistance”.

Is it wise to have a long term care insurance policy? Take a look at the rising costs of long term care:

A long term care policy allows you to have the best available level of care in the setting of YOUR choice. Some facts to consider when thinking about a long term care insurance policy include:

  • Life expectancy statistics show that we are living longer, partly because we are taking a preventive approach. According to the CDC, life expectancy has increased 26% since the 1950’s. But living longer doesn’t necessarily mean that you are living longer healthier. It just means that medical technology is improving. If you happen to develop Alzheimer’s for example your condition may be prolonged, and you will begin to deplete your savings and retirement fund.

  • If you have a family history of disabling diseases, you might want to consider a long term care policy. Chances are you are at a higher risk of getting the illness. “I explain long term care protection to everybody I meet with; and especially recommend it to individuals who have increased risk factors”, comments Susana.

  • Factors like the economy, longevity, or being part of the ‘sandwich’ generation can all wear out the caregiver and the caregiver’s family. If you think that a long term care policy is expensive, talk to your insurance professional for strategies on how to finance one. You might be surprised. And remember that in the end, who will take care of the caregiver?

  • If you think that Medicare or Medicaid will cover your long term care expenses, think again. Long term care is not considered a medical expense; therefore it will not cover any of the costs of your custodial care. Medicaid will cover only a portion of the cost after you have exhausted your own resources; providing you meet their eligibility requirements.

If you’ve been healthy most of your life, it’s probably hard to imagine yourself fragile, dependent, and unable to take care of yourself. The question is: who will help out if anything happen to you? Will you have to exhaust all of your savings and retirement just to keep living? Will you be forced to become a burden on your family and friends, depending on them to take care of you? How much debt are you willing to accumulate and most importantly, will your family have to cover that debt for you?

A long term care insurance policy gives you the opportunity to continue living as a financially independent person. It’s not only about physical health, but about financial health as well.

Ready to start discussing long term care? Contact me today.

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© 2016 by Carolyn Northrup.