Long Term Care: Have it your way

» Posted by on Oct 4, 2011 in Long Term Care Insurance | Comments Off on Long Term Care: Have it your way

You’ve worked too hard all your life to allow your last years to be tragic.

 

Long Term Care, unfortunately is something many of us would rather not think about.

 

I see many people who are Baby Boomers (I’m a Baby Boomer).

 (The Wade Agency will perform a calculated projection of how your current retirement plans are likely to play out under the best and the worst of circumstances. There is no charge for this service and the projection can be run again anytime your circumstances change. Just contact us to set up an appointment).

When the subject of Long Term Care comes up, many of us have ways of dismissing the subject. Sometimes we joke about how we’ll let that be the State’s problem, or that’s how we’ll get even with our kids etc.

 

It’s my business to listen to people and it’s my business to understand the issue, so here’s some insight that you might find helpful:

  • Long Term Care does not necessarily mean Nursing Home care.

Only about 10% of the people needing Long Term Care are in nursing homes.

  • Many of the people in nursing homes aren’t there because they need nursing home level care.

Many who are in Nursing Homes are there because the only Long Term Care for which the State will pay (under Medicaid) is care in a Nursing Home. Most of the people in Nursing Homes would be better off in a different kind of facility such as an Assisted Living Facility, or at home with assistance, either licensed professional assistance or non-licensed aids. For every person in a Nursing Home, there are 6.8 people with the same level of need, receiving care in a different kind of facility.

  • The cost of Long Term Care in places like home, or Assisted Living Facilities is a great deal less expensive than care in a Nursing Home.

For example a stay in an Assisted Living Facility costs about half of what a stay in a Nursing Home costs. We know people in Nursing Homes and we know people in Assisted Living Facilities. Unless a person is very sick, he or she would most definitely rather be in an Assisted Living Facility. My 97 year old aunt is in an Assisted Living Facility and she is enjoying this chapter of her life there.

  • The idea that ‘Our kids will take care of us’, may not work as well in today’s culture as it once did.

Families today are very busy. Our children love us and wish the best for us. Even though they may find joy in caring for us when we can’t care for ourselves, they are stressed more now than ever before. There’s a strong possibility that the people on whom we would rely, would be employed because they need the income. They also need and deserve a break. You’ve heard of the ‘sandwich generation’, the generation of people who’s not quite grown children still require much care and attention (maybe more than ever) and who’s parents require much care and attention. I don’t meet many people who want to squeeze their adult children in this way. For this reason, there are more people in adult day care then in child day care. This is not a bad alternative, but it costs money.

 

So how much do the different alternatives for Long Term Care cost?

 

Genworth has prepared a Cost of Care Survey

for 2011. It’s an excellent source of information regarding the cost of all kinds of Long Term Care, including Homemaker Services, Adult Day Care, Assisted Living Facilities and many others. It’s broken down by state and it shows the rate of cost increase over the previous year.Contact us from this web site, or call us at (913) 440-9637 for a free copy.

 

What are the ways to prepare for the Cost of Long Term Care?

 

I. Long Term Care Insurance

. If you’re like me, you’ve heard horror stories about Long Term Care Insurance from the early days of the existence of this kind of insurance. The Insurance companies who have continued to offer Long Term Care insurance over the last 20 years have learned much, and state departments of insurance have stepped in to insist that citizens are protected. For example, State Departments of insurance do not permit Insurance Carriers to increase premiums as the carrier’s cost if insurance increases. This eliminates one of the more serious problems with early Long Term Care Insurance policies. Of course, you and your trusted agent should carefully review your policy for any exceptions to this rule.

There have been many innovations in Long Term Care Insurance like:

 

  • Return of Premium. If you decide to change your mind and cancel the policy after a few years, before you file any claims, some policies will return all the money you have paid in premiums.
  • Benefit Sharing among couples: if a husband and wife purchase Long Term Care Insurance with a financial limit per person, the other spouse’s benefit can be used by the person who needs it.
  • Partnerships with the state in which the state has agreed to protect the amount of money paid by an insurance plan in Long Term Care Benefits to be protected from the infamous Medicaid Spend-Down that can consume a person’s assets in the unfortunate event that he or she must resort to a Nursing Home under the state’s Medicaid program.

II. Long Term Care Riders on Permanent Life Insurance Policies and Annuities

Many Permanent Life Insurance Policies and Annuities offer riders which allow the insured to withdraw a portion or all of the Death Benefit of the Life Insurance Policy or Annuity to pay for Long Term Care. Of course, you usually don’t buy such a policy for Long Term Care, but the rationale is that you would have bought the policy anyway for other reasons and it’s better for you and your loved ones of the money that would have been a wealth transfer to you heirs is used to pay for the Long Term Care that you had hoped you would never need. This approach doesn’t suit everyone’s purpose, but you may want to look at it, and we’d like to help you look at it.

 

When considering such a rider for the purpose of paying for Long Term Care, you and your trusted agent should thoroughly read and understand the conditions under which the funds will be made available for Long Term Care. Important considerations include making sure the funds can be used to pay for care at home, adult day care, or care in an Assisted Living Facility etc, for the reasons discussed above.

 

We believe that a matter as serious as Long Term Care Planning should be addressed in a thoughtful discussion with a Trusted Advisor who is well versed in Long Term Care. We do not believe it is prudent to secure a quote for Long Term Care Insurance from a web site and apply for a policy without such a conversation.

We’d welcome a chance to have a no obligation discussion with you regarding how to plan for Long Term Care. Only after we understand your concerns, will we be in a position to make a recommendation.

Please contact us through this web site, or call at (913) 440-9637 to arrange a conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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