Many people have heard their parents say this at some point, "Whatever you do, promise me you won't put me in a nursing home."
Have you heard these words? The fact is few if anyone ever wants to be in a nursing home. Nor do family members desire to force the issue with an older parent. Many times, without an advance plan, this becomes the end result.
Nursing home use has gone down in the past ten years. Most people have better options, including assisted living, memory care facilities, adult day care centers, and in-home care. In some cases, even with advance planning, a nursing home is the best option.
If you are dealing now with a family member or parent who needs long-term health care, you may be feeling guilty even though it may be the best thing for your loved one. How do you deal with this guilt and depression? What have you done differently than your parent so your family will not have to go through the same thing?
Many adult children or spouses struggle with guilt about placing a loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. There are many symptoms people experience, including guilt and grief.
How do you adjust? Read here to find out.
Are You Prepared?
So what have you done differently than your parents? Being prepared for declining health and aging and the consequences of long-term health care on your family and finances can make a positive difference for your family.
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will provide guaranteed tax-free resources for quality caregivers in your home, adult day care, assisted living as well as nursing homes. It will also safeguard income and assets since care costs are very high.
The rapidly increasing cost of long-term health care can not only change your lifestyle but might also destroy your financial legacy. However, keep in mind that long-term care is more than just a cash flow problem. It is a family problem.
Family caregivers face health problems, emotional problems, and the job is physically demanding. Even if your adult children are just managing professional care, it is still time-intensive and emotionally stressful.
Many plans offer case management which helps develop a care plan and find quality care providers. Case management eases both the financial and emotional burdens that long-term care creates.
The time to plan is well before you need care - before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s when you still enjoy relatively good health. Don't put your family in the position to make decisions about your care and feel guilty about their choices. You can remain in control since you will have the funds to pay for your choice of quality care options, including care at home.
Tips for Planning
Long-Term Care Insurance is affordable for most people, but there are a few tips to consider as you start your learning process:
- Premiums are based on AGE and HEALTH and the benefits the policy offers. Start looking into plans ideally before you retire – age 40 to 65. Plans are still available for those over 65, but some options might not be available due to health or costs.
- Work with a specialist. A vast majority of financial advisors or general insurance agents don't understand how these plans work or the benefits of the partnership program. Most agents and advisors also don't understand underwriting and how it differs from each company. A Long-Term Care Insurance specialist works with all the top companies, has at least 500 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance policies, and understands the claim's process. A specialist will match you with the right insurance company to provide you with the best coverage at the best value.
- Partnership Policies - Most states offer partnership plans that offer additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection. Be sure to learn how these plans work.
- "Hybrid" plans are available that combine life insurance or annuities with a qualified long-term care benefit. You will get a death benefit or long-term care - or a combination of both. Be careful - work with a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist since these policies can differ drastically on how they work.
- Even a small policy helps. Keep in mind most claims start and end at home. Most people will prefer to be in their own home. A small policy can fund a large amount of home health care, allowing you to avoid or at least delay the need for a nursing home.
LTC Insurance Offers More Than Just Asset Protection
Long-Term Care Insurance provides you with access to your choice of quality care in the setting you desire. These plans offer asset and income protection. But Long-Term Care Insurance is all about family. You can add peace of mind to your retirement plan and ensure your family will not be burdened by the high risk of you needing care.
People need care either due to illness, accident, or the impact of aging. We are all living longer, and advances in medical science make that risk even larger. Act now and be prepared.
About the Author
An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
About half of us will need long-term care services due to an illness, accident, or the consequences of aging. Our risk increases as we get older. The risk to our finances is tremendous as care costs are increasing rapidly due to increasing demand and higher labor costs.
Yes, long-term health care costs are expensive, and you will be financially responsible if you have savings. However, long-term care is more than just a cash flow issue - it is a family issue since often, adult children find themselves in the role of being a caregiver.
Family caregivers are stressed physically and emotionally. You can reduce the financial and family burdens that long-term care places on families and finances AND ensure your choice of quality care options by adding an affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy to your retirement plan.
Most people obtain coverage in their 50s. Are you prepared?
Planning Tools and Resources on LTC NEWS
You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis.
To help you plan the costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
- The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state-specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
- The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
- Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
- A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Working With a Specialist is Essential
Since Long-Term Care Insurance is custom designed ... and policies can vary in price, be sure to seek the help of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist. Be sure they understand the underwriting criteria of each company, is with policy design, claims, and the many tax advantages that are available. Complete understanding of the federal/state partnership program is also key. Find a specialist by clicking here.
Discussion Points with a Specialist
- Partnership – Most states offer special policies that provide dollar-for-dollar asset protection. The Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program might be one of the best-kept secrets in retirement planning. Make sure the specialist explains this program and how it might help you.
- Tax incentives – There are federal tax incentives available for some people. If you own your own business be sure to ask.
- Health Savings Accounts – If you have an HSA you can use the pre-tax money in your account to pay for the premium.
- Asset-Based or Hybrid policies – These are life insurance or annuities with a rider for long-term care. Careful, only a handful are actually a long-term care benefit. However, one of these policies can provide you with the flexibility of both a long-term care benefit or a death benefit. They are expensive but can be paid with a single premium.
- Health and Family History - Make sure the specialist asks you detailed questions about your health, family history, and retirement plans. Underwriting criteria varies with each insurance company. If they are not asking you detailed questions then find another specialist.
Get Expert Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim
LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with your Long-Term Care Insurance policy.
You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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