This video, from Suze Orman’s Money Class (and featured on the OWN network) is just the latest example of the financial guru’s promotion of long term care insurance. We are so pleased that she is continuing her effort to make people aware of the need to plan ahead. What’s even better is she has changed her tune about when to begin investigating (she used to say 60, now late 50s – I suggest ages, 45-54 the fastest growing age bracket).
I would amend one piece of her presentation – she does speak a lot in this video about nursing home care. She’s right to mention it, but part of LTC awareness is helping people understand long term care insurance is the most potent tool people have to never darken the door of a nursing home and to age safely in place. Thanks, Suze!
See the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPUo8CivUz8&feature=share
This article, featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, briefly details why business should be thinking now about offering long term care as a sponsored or voluntary benefit.
It’s a low-cost or no-cost way to attain recruitment and retention while maximizing long-term productivity.
AFLAC no longer offers the coverage, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still “ask about it at work”! We’re happy to help.
After some hand-wringing to account for the cost of payroll deductions, the Marion County Commission has unanimously voted to allow their workers to purchase the long term care plan from the State of Tennessee.
This is just the latest in a series of government and other very large employers’ recognition that long term care insurance provides an invaluable tool for recruitment and retention and ensures future productivity. Every year, billions of dollars are lost by businesses and governments due to long term care costs. It makes sense to offer this coverage since it can be done at little or no expense to the organization!
The State of Tennessee plan is a wonderful option for those who cannot be approved for coverage on the individual market and we applaud Marion County’s decision. However, for those who are healthy (and especially those who are married) it is vital to first understand your options on the individual market vs. buying into the group. Often times, a custom-built plan can provide much more coverage per dollar. We are well versed in the top carriers as well as the State’s offering and are happy to provide an independent expert comparison.
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.
This article is illustrative of two things: 1) how destructive the decline of a parent’s health and independence can be if they do not have a plan in place and 2) how the changing demographics of the next 30 years will lead to new occupations and specialties heretofore unimagined. Parents Aging, Squabbling Adult Siblings Need Elder Mediation, Conflict Resolution – AARP Bulletin.
“My husband and I have been thinking of long term care options for a while. We wish to leave a good thing for our grandson and this is one of the insurances that we did not have. But I feel it is of most importance.
P.S., Gail is great!!”
“Wasn’t sure I was ready to take this step — but after the presentation, I felt comfortable with the decision and feel the protection and security it will provide will be well worth the investment.”
“I chose long term health care to insure my quality of life in the years to come.”
“Long Term Care insurance has long been a subject of discussion and it is now completed. Having done this gives us a sense of security for the future.”
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with participants at the “Sandwiched” support group, facilitated by Amy Boulware. Mrs. Boulware is the Director of Social Services for the Chattanooga Jewish Community Federation of Greater Chattanooga.
“Sandwiched” refers to those who are simultaneously caring for their elderly parents while they are still contributing to or actively raising children. These special people have more on their plate than anyone should have to handle at one time and they are doing it with courage and grace.
I was pleased to share information about planning regarding their own future care. The participants were eager to ask questions and seemed excited at the possibility of their children being protected from the experience they were currently going through.
Thanks, Amy, for your great work in the community and I hope to be made available in the future!
“I feel great relief from my decision to buy long term care insurance. Gail was fun and serious at the same time. This has taken a burden off my shoulders.”
Shelly White, OT-R
Earlier this month, a group of long term care insurance specialists gathered in Chattanooga for a weekend of professional development. Jason Hillner, CLTC was pleased to be asked to share his knowledge of the CLASS (Community Living Assistance and Supportive Services) provision of the Health Care Bill of 2010.
CLASS will provide for a voluntary federal long term care insurance program. This will allow for coverage for people below the federal poverty level to get coverage for $5/month and for those with very significant health issues to be covered, as well. While the premium for non-indigent workers are expected to be higher than private LTC insurance, CLASS does provide an interesting opportunity for these special groups.
“We have been considering long term care insurance off and on for the past 4 years. We understand the importance of the coverage but never got around to it. Your command of the facts and knowledge of the programs was important to our decision. Now we feel more secure and less anxious about being a burden to our children” April, 2010