Long Term Care Insurance: Making Sure You Can Pay for Long Term Care if You’re One of the 70% Who Need It

People are living longer than ever, and as life expectancy increases, so does the likelihood that we will need long term care.

Almost 70% of people who reach age 65 will need some form of long term care at some point; in the year 2000, almost 10 million people needed some form of long term care, and that number is only increasing.

Do You Need Long Term Care Insurance?

These Well-Known Financial Advisors Say It’s Worth Considering

Suze Orman: Why to Get Long Term Care Insurance

Jan. 23, 2012 – Suze Orman shares her personal experience of funding expensive around-the-clock care for her mother, who didn’t buy long term care insurance because “I’m never going to end up that way.” Suze advises buying long term care insurance in your late 50’s and making it a permanent part of your budget. (1:45)

Clark Howard: Why to Consider Long Term Care Insurance

Jul. 29, 2015 – Clark Howard shares how his own mother has been in assisted living for over 10 years, and that long term care insurance is the reason she gets the care she needs. He highlights the important role long term care insurance plays in asset protection, because Medicaid won’t cover costs until there are no other assets left. (1:14)

What Can Long Term Care Insurance Do for You?

Long term care insurance is the best way to ensure you will have the resources to pay for the care you need. Long term care insurance helps you:

  • Ensure Resources

    Ensure you will have the funds you need to cover long term care costs

  • Increase Options

    Increase the number of long term care options available to you

  • Improve Quality

    Access higher quality long term care than you might otherwise be able to afford

  • Protect Assets

    Save more of your assets for your loved ones while getting the care you need

Long term care is an issue that affects not just you, but your whole family, and there’s no way to know if or when you or your spouse might need care. The best way to really understand why long term care insurance is so important is to learn from the experiences of others who had insurance and ended up needing it.

After many years helping families in this situation, and dealing with this issue in our own families, we know one thing for sure: The last thing  you and your family want to worry about when you find out you need long term care is whether you can afford it.

Having North Carolina long term care insurance gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you don’t have to worry about whether you will be cared for, and your family won’t have to endure financial hardship to get you the care you need.

It Can Happen to Anyone

Real Life Stories of People Who Received the Care They Needed Because They Planned Ahead

Peace of Mind for an Alzheimer’s Patient’s Family

When Vernon Duckett first heard of long-term care insurance from his wife, Helen, he wasn’t enthusiastic, but his wife talked him into it. Years later when Helen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Vernon was thankful they had purchased the coverage. Helen’s policy paid for the best possible care until her death at age 82 and has preserved Vernon’s financial independence. (3:38)

A Stroke Victim Gets the Care He Needs

Months after his 65th birthday, Joe Mollicone suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak. Joe’s insurance covered his home-care needs until he reached his policy limit and beyond because of his policy’s shared-care rider. Because of the couple’s wise planning, Joe received the care he needed and most of their retirement savings were preserved. (3:37)

Long Term Care Is Expensive

The cost of long term care can easily consume more than a lifetime’s worth of assets and savings, leaving your family without the resources to care for you or themselves. The average cost of some types of long term care in the U.S. in 2010 was:

  • $74,820 per year ($205 per day/$6,235 per month) for a semi-private room in a nursing home
  • $83,580 per year ($229 per day/$6,965 per month) for a private room in a nursing home
  • $39,516 per year ($109 per day/$3,293 per month) for care in a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility
  • $21 per hour for a home health aide
  • $19 per hour for homemaker services
  • $67 per day for services in an adult day care center

And these are just averages, so for half of the people, the cost was even higher… and prices have increased since then.

Medicare and Medicaid Aren’t Enough

Medicare and Medicaid may  cover some long term care services under some circumstances, but there are limitations on what services are covered, for whom and for how long, so neither alone is enough.

Do Medicare and Medicaid Cover Long Term Care?

Medicare, Medicaid and VA benefits only cover some things under certain circumstances. Here’s a general overview of what’s covered and what isn’t. Learn more about how to be fully prepared at longtermcare.gov. (1:45)

That’s why it is increasingly important to make long term care insurance part of your plans for your financial future: planning ahead could be the difference between getting the care you need… or not.

Our Independence Means More Options for You

At Abiding Wealth Advisors, because we are independent, we are able to offer a broader selection of North Carolina long term care insurance options from a variety of carriers, so you can choose the best plan for your and your family’s needs.

We are not limited to a small subset of proprietary products, so we have the flexibility to offer choices and make recommendations from a wider range of possibilities, based only on what’s in your best interest.

The Time to Get Long Term Care Insurance is Before  You Need It

Long term care insurance is relatively inexpensive when you’re younger and healthy; once you know you need it, it can be very costly if it is even available (and in many cases, sadly, it’s not).

Please don’t neglect this important part of your overall financial plan. Having coverage in place before the need for long term care arises is a huge burden lifted from your and your family’s shoulders during an already difficult time.

To learn more about whether the time is right for you to get North Carolina long term care insurance, and to find out about the many different choices available, please contact us. We’ll be glad to discuss your options and give you guidance on whether it’s time to add long term care insurance to your financial plan.

Tools and Resources

Can I afford long term care?

How much do I need to save for long term care in my state?

10 Things You Should Know About Buying Long Term Care Insurance

NAIC Shopper’s Guide to Long Term Care Insurance

AHIP’s Guide to Long Term Care Insurance

Find your path forward: LongTermCare.gov

Videos

CBS Miami: The Pros & Cons of Long Term Care Insurance

April 3, 2015 – It’s a topic a lot of people don’t like to talk about: How are you planning to pay for long term nursing care for an elderly parent, or even yourself? CBS4 Miami reports on the cost of long term care, why insurance is needed and newer long term care insurance options. (3:13)

PBS News Hour: How More Americans Are ‘Aging in Place’

Nov. 5, 2013 – The average American over 65 will need 3 years of long term care, costing $72,000 per year in a nursing home. But Americans across the country are devising innovative plans to help more people save money and stay in their homes longer. (11:52)

PBS News Hour: A Window Into the Daily Struggles of Long Term Care

May 30, 2013 – More than 5 million Americans now suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, and that figure could triple by 2050. PBS News Hour reports on the needs of caregivers and issues with the care delivery system as experienced by one woman who handles much of her mother’s care herself. (3:13)

CBS Sunday Morning: Aging in America: Crisis in Long Term Care

Oct. 19, 2014 – There are currently about 40 million Americans over the age of 65, and those over 80 are the fastest-growing segment of our population. Rita Braver reports on the challenges families face in covering care when they’re “stuck in the middle”– not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, and not rich enough to pay for long term care themselves. (8:58)

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