Science recently made a profound discovery: women and men are different! Women are not only physically different, but in general think and speak very different than their male counterparts. Add to that a 2014 study from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics that found for the first time, the majority of the adult population in the United States identifies as single. In contrast, only 37.4 percent of the population identified as single in 1976.
How does being a single woman affect your plans if you have an extended healthcare event and why do single women need a different long term care insurance plan? The life expectancy for women is 5 years longer than for men and by age 65, 1 in 3 women will live to age 90 or more! When you consider the average cost of home healthcare is more than $50,000 per year today, living longer and requiring care can add up quickly.
When considering long term care insurance, single women will need more comprehensive coverage. We recommend having a monthly benefit of $4,000 or more and a benefit period of 2 years or more. This will provide a solid base to pay for home healthcare, which is most common. The other option to strongly consider is an inflation benefit that will grow the policy over time to keep up with the rising cost of care. We recommend an inflation rate of 2-3%.
What is most important is that women have a plan of help in place before a long term care event occurs. That plan should include who will help if care is needed? Is that a friend, relative or professional? How will that care be paid for and where will care be provided? Making sure these questions are answered and talked about with those affected is critical, regardless if insurance is the right choice.
Having a plan in place allows single women to have the peace of mind that they will be cared for in case the need arises.
LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can help them.