Monthly Archives: January 2012
John Hancock Life Insurance Company conducted a survey last fall of Americans between the ages of 21-75. The survey found some shocking results:
1) 52% said it was “irresponsible” not to plan for their own long term care, but 85% of respondents said they do not have a plan for long term care
2) 70% agreed that a year in a nursing cost $30,000 (the real figure is around $85,000.00, nationally). When confronted with this, 62% responded they could likely not be able to afford a full year of nursing-level care.
3) 46% were not aware of the spend down requirements to get Medicaid benefits
4) 61% said they would prefer to pay for long term care with insurance, but 89% did not have coverage.
5) While 80% mentioned cost as a reason for being uninsured, 70% claimed to have at least $14,000 per year available to pay for care (500-750% the cost of a typical new premium).
This shows we all have a ways to go in getting the message out about long term care planning. We will work in the coming year to improve public knowledge so that everyone has the opportunity to plan ahead with current and unvarnished facts.
Dave Carpenter, Personal Finance correspondent for the Associated Press, tried this week to list a few important agenda items for retirees to “resolve” to accomplish in the new year. Among them is to investigate long term care insurance options.
We couldn’t agree more – there is no greater risk to one’s retirement portfolio than the need for long term care. I would also add that pre-retirees are the ones most able to take advantages of low premiums and high acceptance rates. In fact, couples who plan ahead wisely can have premiums much lower than what Dave suggested for the exact same coverage. Since LTC is such a big part of the retirement agenda, it should be explored as soon as retirement planning goes into full-gear. Thanks, Dave!
An article featured this past week in SmartMoney magazine describes why long term care coverage is necessary and appropriate for anyone who is concerned about the costs associated with changing abilities due to age or illness. Even for those who may not be able to afford a “Cadillac” plan, some protection can help to secure lifestyle, remain at home, and protect assets.
After all, every dollar of coverage is a dollar that a family does not have to provide, either in the form of direct caregiving or hiring caregiving services.