Home is where your hat hangs, especially when you are younger. As you get older, you start to think more about your future and retirement. Even when you are in your 40s or 50s, too many people ignore retirement planning and the consequences of aging. Aging happens, and time goes by quickly.
Take a moment and think about your future retirement. Are you prepared? Where will you live once you retire? Once you need long-term health care, where will you receive your care? Who will provide that care? Will you have enough money to pay for quality care without placing stress and burden on your family?
Most people want to age in place. Some people will downsize and move into another home, but the desire to stay at home increases with age. The importance of being at home has received much attention with the COVID-19 virus crisis. The desire to be 'at home' is not going away.
- A recent AARP survey shows that 3 out of 4 adults age 50 and older want to stay in their homes and communities as they get older. However, when asked about the likelihood of that happens, most say it won't.
The survey showed 76% of the respondents aged 50+ desire to stay in their home; only 53% of 18-49 felt this was important. The survey occurred before the COVID-19 crisis. Only 46% anticipate they will be able to accomplish that goal.
Majority of Care Provided at Home
According to the National Care Planning Council, about 73% of all long-term care is provided at home, usually by family caregivers who do so without pay. The pressure on these non-paid spouses or adult children is tremendous, and caregiving is both physically and emotionally demanding.
These non-skilled care services provide very basic help at home. As a care recipient's needs increase, the skills required to provide the care increase as well. These family caregivers often lack the physical ability to perform the work or lack the skills to do so safely.
The family will bring in paid professional care if the resources are available. The paid caregivers are better able to provide help with bathing, incontinence issues, lifting, and other services that we are likely to need as we get older.
Of course, not all care recipients are old. Health events and accidents can create a need for long-term care at any age. People require long-term care services and supports due to illness, accident, or the impact of aging. This care also includes supervision due to dementia. The risk of needing extended care increases with age.
The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) says nearly 8 million Americans currently receive home health care services. At the time of their publication, only 1.8 million people were in nursing homes.
About 15.5% of those in nursing homes are under age 65, according to the most recent information provided by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. For those people with Long-Term Care Insurance, 4.5% of those receiving benefits are under age 70, according to the AALTCI. Most people start purchasing policies in their 50s.
LTC Insurance is Paying Benefits for Care at Home
Do you want to age in place in your home? Prepare family and finances for the consequences of aging. Long-Term Care Insurance gives you the choice of care, including in-home care. Own a solution that keeps you in control and gives loved ones the time to be family instead of caregivers.
- Just over 51% of Long-Term Care Insurance claims start at home. Only 23% of LTC Insurance claims start in a nursing home. Interestingly enough, 43% of these claims ended with care at home. The data suggests people with Long-Term Care Insurance are better able to stay in their own homes.
Home care providers are less expensive than a nursing home unless you require care around the clock. For these individuals, assisted living, memory care, or nursing homes are still better alternatives. However, if family members cannot provide care (and generally, they cannot do so for any length of time), how do you pay for the care you may need in the future?
Cost of Care is Expensive and Going Up
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator says the national average nursing home cost in 2021 is $109,683 a year for a private room, a little less for a semi-private room.
The base cost of an assisted living facility averages $52,451 a year nationally. Home care providers average $55,004 a year based on a 44-hour week.
Increasing demand for long-term health care with increasing labor costs will keep the cost rising sharply in the years ahead. The costs do vary depending on where you live and the type of care you require.
For example, in Tyler, Texas, in-home care (based on a 44 hour week) averages about $3,800 a month today, but in 25 years, that cost is expected to run about $8500 a month - Texas Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.
Compare Tyler, Texas, with Champaign, Illinois, where in-home care averages about $4,200 a month today. In 25 years, that same care will run about $9300 a month - Illinois Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.
When planning for long-term health care, remember it is both a cash flow issue and a family issue. You will need the cash flow to pay for your choice of care, and you need services that allow your family the time to be family.
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will provide the guaranteed tax-free benefits that you will be able to use for the type of care you want, including in-home care that most people want. You will be able to maintain control and independence and avoid being dependent on family and friends.
Choice? Do you Want Choice?
If you want a choice – and who doesn't wish to have a choice – you should have an LTC policy in place. When should you buy a policy?
Ideally, when you are in your 40s or 50s. Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten, so you need relatively good health. Each insurance company has its own rules, so be sure to seek an experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate all the companies.
Don't believe what you read about policies being expensive. Long-Term Care Insurance is custom-designed, and premiums can vary well over 100% between companies for the same coverage.
Get Accurate Quotes with Professional Recommendations
Too often, a family talks to an insurance agent or financial advisor and gets "a quote." They see one insurance company with one policy design. There are insurance companies that offer costly policies but do not assume this reflects all the available options.
Long-Term Care Insurance is custom designed. A qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist representing the major companies will find you affordable options based on your age, health, and other factors.
Find a qualified and trusted specialist by clicking here.
Today's Long-Term Care Insurance is rate stable, with most states having rate stability rules in place. Also, today's premiums are priced based on the low-interest-rate environment we have experienced for some time.
Partnership LTC Insurance Offers Additional Asset Protection
If you are lucky enough to live in the 45 states that offer Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance, you will enjoy dollar-for-dollar asset protection. Partnership LTC Insurance may be one of the biggest secrets in retirement planning. Read more about this vital asset protection feature by clicking here.
Keep in mind as you get older, you experience changes in your health. You will see changes in your body as well. You may even start experiencing cognitive decline. Many of these changes will require you to need help with everyday activities.
Preparing for the future costs and burdens of aging will safeguard your income and assets and reduce the stress and burdens otherwise placed on those you love.
Take action to enjoy the peace-of-mind knowing your wishes will come true as you get older. Find a policy and plan for a successful future retirement, hopefully in your own home.
About the Author
An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.
Contributor since August 21st, 2017
Long-Term Care Insurance safeguards your income and assets so you can maintain your lifestyle and preserve your legacy. But, perhaps as important as anything else, LTC Insurance gives your loved ones the time to be family, reducing the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on them.
The time to obtain coverage is before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s, when premiums are lower, and your health is better.
Available Resources on LTC NEWS
LTC NEWS offers several tools and resources to help 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 for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS can put together several resources, including:
- The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the financial impact of long-term health care where you live. It will also show you state-specific information on tax benefits, care options, rules, and more.
- 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.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Seek Professional Advice
Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family. Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums do vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.
A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have the peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities
If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.
Take a moment and read -
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 claim's process with your Long-Term Care Insurance policy. You can also support 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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