Mark Stevens

Long Term Care Insurance

What are your chances of needing long-term care? The probability of needing long term health care grows from about 50 percent for the general population to in excess of 70 percent for women over age 65.(1) Not only are the chances of entering a nursing home great, but the average stay is 2.2 years for men and 3.7 years for women! (2)

The average annual cost for staying in a nursing home is$75,000/yr compared to just $38,000/yr in 1997. (3) With costs like that, an extended nursing home stay could be financially devastating, even to wealthy families.

I really hate to hear statistics like this, but while I can’t change the facts I can at least try to help people prepare. Long term care can mean needing help at home or it can mean moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home. But in all cases it can mean unwelcome expenses; costing you or your family precious resources that you need for retirement income. Many families believe the best plan is to have the ailing loved one move in with them so they can care for them. But as noble as this is, the truth is, that can be so much more difficult than people realize.

This is such an important and sensitive topic, that I make it a practice to have multiple conversations with all my clients about the risks of health related expenses as we age. Particularly how critical this can be to their retirement planning so they don’t run out of money and become a burden to their loved ones- financially, physically or emotionally.

And since medical advancements are allowing people to live longer with ailments and declining health, this only means that they will need even more money.

Hopefully you can see why Long Term Care insurance needs to be part of your financial planning discussions.

If you want a good article to read, try the article in the Reading Room called- “Should you buy long-term care insurance?”

” And, as always, if you have a question, click on the link above to schedule a Free 15 minute consultation. I’ll work with you myself and answer whatever questions you might have. Just be sure you stay educated on the topic so that you can be at peace knowing you have addressed this for your retirement and so your long term care needs are being met.

(Sources: 1) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2007

2 ) Genworth Financial, "Our Future, Ourselves. A Guide for Women and Their Advisors in Preparing for Long Term Care," 2007, quoted from Jim Emerman, Senior Vice President of the American Society on Aging, Press Release, "Americans Fail to Act on Long Term Care Protection," May 2003

(3) Genworth Financial Cost of Care survey 2009