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Long Term Care

While we do not want to think about ourselves or a loved one ever needing long-term care, it is a reality that, if not faced now, could cause emotional and financial devastation in the future. Click here to view the National Association of Commissioners (NAIC) Long Term Care Insurance Shopper’s Guide.

Consider the following when developing your long-term care plan.

Myths and Facts

Myth: It will never happen to me.
Fact: For Every 1,000 people (based on Americans over 65)...

  • 5 will have a house fire
  • 70 will have an auto accident
  • 600 will need Long-Term Care

Family Caregiver Alliance, 2004.
Fact: You have a one in four chance of needing long-term care if you are age 66 to 80. You have a one in two chance if you are older than 80.

Myth: I won`t live long enough to need it.

Fact: Americans are living longer. The fastest growing population is the 85+ group. 50% of 65 year olds will live to be 100.

Myth: I can rely on the government (Medicaid) to help me.

Fact: To some extent this is true; is intended as a safety net for the poor. In order to qualify for Medicaid, a person must spend down all assets to the poverty level. Medicare only covers skilled care for a limited time, only after hospital confinement and does not cover either custodial or intermediate care. Other disadvantages include long waiting lists for admission, necessity of frequent moves to find adequate care, and the government determines the type of care received. Lastly, estate recovery is now mandatory – this means that the states must recover from the estates of beneficiaries any Medicaid long-term care benefits received.

Additional Considerations:

“Each year that you delay purchasing a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, premiums increase about 8%,”says Robert Davis of Long-Term Care Quote.

Average cost of LTC services...$58,000 per year, up from $38,000 in 1990. $74,208 per year, up from $62,415 in 2005 ($38,000 in 1990).
LTC insurance can keep you OUT of a nursing home and keeps you in control (lifestyle protection).
Source: Cetera Financial 2009 Cost of Care Survey.

Long term care insurance:

  • Protects your savings and investments.
  • Takes the financial and emotional burden off your family.
  • Allows you to maintain the independence that you've enjoyed your entire lifetime.

Long-term care insurance is not right for everyone:

You should NOT buy long-term care insurance if:

  • You cannot afford the premiums
  • You have limited assets
  • Your only source of income is Social Security or SSI
  • You often have trouble paying for the basic bills

You should CONSIDER buying Long-term Care Insurance if:

  • You have significant assets and income
  • You want to protect some of your assets and income
  • You want to pay for your own care
  • You want to stay independent of the support of others

Alzheimer’s Caregivers:

For those who are already dealing with family members who are suffering from Alzheimer’s click here to download a free copy of University of Arkansas’ Couch Bryole’s Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers. His first and experience could be invaluable in helping you to care for a loved one. Or if you prefer visit directly and download a copy in any one of twenty languages or purchase a printed copy.