Unless we die of a sudden event, most of us will experience a long-term care (LTC) journey. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people turning age 65 will need LTC at some point in their lives. The question is, how will that journey affect our finances, our health, and our loved ones? With long-term care insurance (LTCI) that journey can be a little easier.
Most people know they need to save for retirement. They add to their 401K or pension, do employer match, and sometimes still feel guilty because it never seems like enough. Some even have savings accounts and other investments on the side. When health issues start occurring, and living situations need to change, retirees spend more and more money. Most Americans want to stay in their homes as long as possible, and the national annual average cost of home health care is $50,336. If things progress, health worsens, and they need more assistance, they may end up in a nursing home. The national annual average cost of a private room in a nursing home is $100,375. That retirement savings will be gone before they know it.
For those who purchase LTCI in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, that scenario can look a bit different. Instead of drawing on retirement income, they can go on claim and begin receiving policy payouts to cover their LTC expenses. Their retirement savings will stretch out much longer and be able to pay for other living costs. As a reminder, once a policy holder goes on claim, they no longer have to pay their policy premiums.
A person paying out of pocket knows they have to preserve savings as long as possible. Some Alzheimer’s and Dementia cases can stretch out well over a decade. Non-policy holders may choose to receive less care or stay in lower quality facilities in order to make sure their retirement savings stretch.
Someone with an LTCI policy knows they can afford the level of care their current health situation requires. They can pay someone early on to come over and cook meals and do light housework. They have the option to stay in the assisted living facility they want, not just the one that they can afford. They can afford a memory care center.
When a loved one begins showing signs of declining health or cognitive impairment, everyone gets involved. Spouses, children, friends, and neighbors all band together to cover every detail of care. This is all loving and sweet, but it can also be exhausting and expensive.
Caring for a family member can cause strife with resentment quickly.
When a loved one has an LTCI policy, everyone gets to remain in their role as spouse, child, friend, neighbor – all while professionals are caring for their health needs. Having a caretaker can also preserve a loved one’s dignity.
Purchasing an LTCI policy makes it a little easier to think about aging and needing help. Knowing you won’t have to drain your savings, accept lesser treatments, or rely on a spouse provides peace of mind. Speak to a specialist today, and find out if LTCI should be a part of your retirement plan.