The Impact of Needing Long Term Care

Understanding the risks and the impact of needing long term care without proper planning. "Perhaps the greatest benefits Long-term care insurance can allow loved ones to care ABOUT YOU … instead of having to care FOR YOU!"
By: Kurt Lauman a Long Term Care Insurance Specialist
 
 
Nov. 16, 2011 - PRLog -- The Impact of Long-Term Care - Most people envision themselves living a long life, investing and planning throughout their working years to create a financially secure future where they can enjoy spending time doing the things they enjoy the most.

As part of your financial planning process, it’s important to understand the potential impact that needing long-term care may have on your assets, your family, and your future.

FINANCIAL IMPACT:
The reality is, the longer you live, the greater the likelihood that you may require long-term care. The costs associated with needing long-term care are significant. While it can take decades to accumulate the assets you’ll need to retire comfortably, just a few years of paying for long-term care may threaten a lifetime of savings.

EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL BURDEN:
If you’ve ever been in a care-giving situation, you understand the physical, financial and emotional toll it can take. While providing care to loved ones is an act of compassion, placing these burdens on spouses, children and other family members can create a significant emotional, financial and physical strain, and is something that many people would like to avoid.

CONSEQUENECES OF NOT HAVING A PLAN OR PLANNING AHEAD:
Waiting to address your long-term care needs – until the point at which you actually need care – may significantly impact your financial situation, your quality of life, and your ability to maintain your independence. Incorporating long term care (LTC) insurance into your financial plan can help protect your assets, reduce the burden of care that would otherwise fall on family members, and enable you to receive care in the setting you most prefer, including your home.

WHAT'S YOU REAL RISK?
Many people find it hard to envision themselves needing hands-on assistance with basic living activities like bathing, getting dressed, and eating or moving from room to room. So they avoid thinking about it altogether or put it off until it is too late for coverage. The fact is that 73% of people who reach age 65 will require long-term care services at some point in their lives (7 out of 10 people will need more than thier traditional health insurance or Medicare).  But perhaps the bigger unknown – and biggest risk – relates to the length of time for which you may need to receive care services.  It’s impossible to predict but some may only need a few months of care and others might need a few years.  Others, such as those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, might require 24-hour care for as long as 10 years.  As people take into account the current and FUTURE projected costs of care, and the potential impact to their families and finances, many find the risks simply too big to ignore. Long-term care insurance helps provide protection against these risks and allow you to live a dignified life. But what we do know is not planning ahead for your long term care needs is the quickest way to lose it all and end up on the government welfare system called Medicaid and a financial & emotional burden to your loved ones and leave a possible surviving spouse with nothing!  Great Plan!

AVOIDING MISTAKES AND PLANNING AHEAD
Once you understand the risks associated with needing long-term care, you’re ready to start the planning process.  As you weigh your decision to purchase LTC insurance, there are a variety of factors to consider.
These include:
1. Where do you plan to live when you retire?
2. In which setting would you prefer to receive care? (For many people, it’s in their home).
3. How much of your long-term care expenses are you willing, or able, to pay out of your own pocket?
4. Speak with more than a financial advisor or CPA, with this type of coverage you will want to consult a LTCI Specialist.  By consulting a LTCi Specialist it will insure that you are not going to under insuring  and just as important NOT over insuring and buy more coverage than you need.

BELOW ARE A FEW COMMON MISTAKES YOU WANT TO AVOID
Waiting Too Long to Address the Issue: There are important reasons to address your potential long-term care needs sooner rather than later. Since the cost of LTC insurance is typically based on your age and health when you apply, the older you are when you apply, the higher your costs will be.  The cost could cost more than 15K over the lifetime of your individual policy or over 30K for a couple's point and the ultimate cost could be that you are no longer elgibile for ltc coverage.


INSURING ONE SPOUSE/PARTNER, BUT NOT THE OTHER
Today, a little over half of LTC insurance buyers are couples – representing 54% of the new policies sold. And yes it is true that women are more likely to need long-term care. Thus, some couples look to insure just the greater risk. However, this approach creates a far greater financial risk and emotional toll should a husband need care prior to his spouse. Regardless of which one is not covered, the risk of needing care – and the subsequent care-giving and financial responsibilities that follow – will impact the couple’s quality of life and financial situation.  It is always recommended if both qualify financially and health wise to buy a policy but if the cost or for health reasons one spouse doesn't qualify the individual that qualifys SHOULD always look to buy a policy.  Having one covered it better than none!

ASSUMING YOU CAN COVER THE COST OF CARE
Without a long-term care insurance policy, you are essentially “self-insuring” your risk of paying for care. While wealthy individuals may have the financial means to cover their costs for care, this is not a viable strategy for the majority of people. Whether people overestimate their ability to pay for care over an extended period, or convince themselves that they’ll never need care, the risk of needing and paying for care remains.  Ask  Medicaid patients how easy long term care can wipe everything you own and what the cost was to assuming they could self insure.

Whether you are wealthy or not, paying a reasonable insurance premium to transfer one of the biggest financial threats you may face can be a smart move towards protecting assets and loved ones financial future.

YOUR NEXT STEP:
You’ve taken an important step by reading the information in this article. One of the wisest and forward thinking is for you to speak to a Long Term Care Insurance Specialist and find out how you can start living a dignified future. If you have elderly parents or other relatives who have needed care, you may already see the need to plan ahead for your own needs.

Welcome to LTC Financial Partners, LLC with Kurt Lauman.

We are a licensed independent insurance agency that specializes in Long Term Care Insurance. Our mission is to provide you with excellent service, helpful advice and useful resources nationwide.  Find out more about Long Term Care insurance from Kurt Lauman a Long Term Care Insurance Specialist & Partner with LTC Financial Partners, LLC.  *Be sure to visit the website listed below to receive long term care insurance quotes from America's Top insurance carriers.

Long Term Care Insurance by Kurt Lauman
http://www.kurtlauman.ltcfp.com

Long Term Care Insurance Quotes
http://www.kurtlauman.ltcfp.com/freecustomquote.aspx

Long Term Care Insurance Blog Articles by Kurt Lauman
http://www.kurtlauman.myimcblog.com/


Acknowledments and Sources that contributed to this article:
American Association for Long Term Care (AALTCI) - www.aaltci.org
LTC Financial Partners, LLC  - www.ltcfp.com
3in4 Need More - www.3in4needmore.com
John Hancock

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