In 2015 nearly 18 million people were providing informal, non-paid caregiving services to family members. This number has increased every year as more Americans require long-term care services and support due to an illness, accident, or the impact of aging.
A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during the two-year period of the survey (2015-2017), 20% of family caregivers reported their own health issues. This is not unexpected since caregiving places a toll on a person’s health and well-being. The physical and emotional stress that family caregivers face is a major concern for many American families as they address their future longevity and need for long-term care.
Long-Term Care and Caregiving is a Public Health Issue
The CDC says that because caregiving is a public health issue of increasing importance as the U.S. population ages, the health status of caregivers warrants special attention. Many American families have been forced to have loved ones become caregivers because no advance plan had been put in place.
The crisis management that families must deal with when a parent or other family member requires extended care is not ideal as the best solutions are not often available in a crisis situation.
According to the CDC research, nearly 18 million people were providing care services in 2015. This unpaid assistance to their family members poses many challenges physically, emotionally, and financially according to experts. The strain on these caregivers leads to higher rates of depression. Their quality of life is diminished as they must balance the needs of being a caregiver with their responsibilities to their own family and career. Often this leads to poorer overall health.
Of those surveyed, 17% expect to be a caregiver in the future for a family member. The fact is family members don’t need to be caregivers. You can plan so your family can be family.
Americans are Getting Older
As America gets older, the need for long-term care increases. America’s baby boomers continue to age with the late-boomer segment now approaching retirement age. Generation X is not far behind them. The total amount of those people who require help with activities-of-daily living or supervision due to cognitive decline is placing pressure on the health care system, the finances of both American families and government.
Health insurance, including Medicare and Medicare supplements, pay little or nothing toward long-term care services. As a result, families must either use their own resources like retirement funds (401(k), IRA, SEP) to pays for services and/or use family members as caregivers. For those who either exhaust their assets or paid little or no savings to start, Medicaid, the medical welfare program, would pay for long-term care. Since longevity means a higher risk of needing extended care, affordable Long-Term Care Insurance has become a more significant part of retirement planning.
The CDC says there is an increasing desire for people to remain in their homes to revive long-term care as opposed to nursing homes. Assisted living facilities and adult daycare centers have increased in popularity since they help maintain more control and independence compared to a more institutionalized nursing home facility.
Seek Guaranteed Benefits to Address Future Long-Term Care Costs
Long-Term Care Insurance will provide guaranteed benefits that give the policyholder access to their choice of quality care in the setting they desire. With an LTC policy, the person gains independence. They can remain in control over the type of quality of the care receive without draining savings and adversely impacting income, lifestyle, and legacy.
The crisis caused by COVID-19 illustrates that unexpected events, even in a good economy, can have an adverse effect on savings and income. If the timing of your future long-term care need occurs during such a downturn, the overall impact is even more significant.
You can give your family the time to be family instead of the strain of becoming your future caregiver. Experts say the best time to put a policy in place is when you are younger and enjoy good health. A recent informal survey of Leading Long-Term Care Insurance specialists says most of their clients are in their late 40s or 50s.
Expect the Unexpected
No matter the age, eventually, you or a loved one will face the financial costs and burdens associated with long-term care. Advance planning provides peace-of-mind and gives you control.
Expect the unexpected. In uncertain times we need to protect the assets we have both today and, in the decades ahead. The financial costs and burdens of aging and health impact more than just money, it affects our family, lifestyle, and independence.
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance offers guaranteed tax-free benefits giving you access to your choice of quality care, protecting savings and income, and easing stress otherwise placed on your family. It keeps you in control over your life.
About the Author
Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.
Contributor since October 31st, 2017
The virus crisis created by COVID-19, including the financial crisis which followed it, illustrates the need to expect the unexpected. However, the need for long-term care is something most of us will face at some point. The question is, when will we need care, and for how long?
Expecting the unexpected is other outside forces that will have a negative impact on our savings, income, and lifestyle. We will never know the day or time we will need long-term care. We also will never know when a downturn in the economy will create losses in our investments.
Long-Term Care Insurance Puts You in Control
Planning for the financial costs and burdens of aging will give you control over your future and provide your family with the time to be family.
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance provides an outstanding value giving you guaranteed tax-free benefits that will allow you to be in control over your future care. However, you must have a policy in place to take advantage of these benefits.
LTC Insurance Offers Many Benefits
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance also offers other benefits which include:
- Shared spousal/partner benefits
- Tax incentives
- Inflation benefits to address the higher cost of care in the future
- Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance in 45 states offer dollar-for-dollar asset protection
- Hybrid policies with death benefits give you guaranteed return either in tax-free long-term care or a tax-free death benefit
- Smaller limited duration short-term plans offer very affordable ways to have benefits even if you have some health issues
Start your research before you retire. The LTC NEWS cost of care calculator shows you both the current and future cost of care services where you live. Access the calculator by clicking here.
The LTC NEWS guide to Long-Term Care Insurance is comprehensive. Read it by clicking here.
You should seek the help of an experienced and qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. Most financial advisors and general insurance agents usually have little or no experience in underwriting, plan design, partnership, and other aspects of these policies.
Find a trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist by clicking here.
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