Do I Need Long-Term Care Coverage?

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Written by: Wendy Lange
December 9, 2022

Life is short…even if you live to 100 years old!  You hear it all the time.  “If only I knew “Joe” was going to pass away so soon, I would have told him…”  Don’t let this be your mantra.  Live life to the fullest.  Expect the worst but hope for the best.  We’ve all heard these sayings.  But do we truly listen to them?  Is it an in “one ear and out the other” situation?  Especially if it does not directly affect you, are you paying attention? 

Many retirees will require a form of long-term care coverage as they age.  Like many important decisions in life, many people do not plan until it’s too late for proper funding options. 

If you’ve ever watched one of your parents lose their capacity for independent living, you know how difficult it can be for the entire family.  Becoming impaired often begins with small, unexpected changes.  Over time, it gets worse.  It can start with the inability to stand up after using the bathroom, or even something as simple as getting out of bed.  Much too often, struggles with the normal activities of daily living (referred to as ADL’s in the medical field) accompany the feeling of losing your dignity, as well as also rapid depletion of your savings.  You know you need assistance but may not want your family members to handle the more “delicate” and personal tasks.

And now, the hard truth.  Hiring help for your long-term care is NOT covered by Medicare.  It is also NOT covered by most employer or retiree health plans!  Planning ahead can help you maintain your dignity and independence.  It can be very demeaning having your spouse or children (or others) make decisions for you.

Have you seen the expenses for long-term care lately?  Whether it is in home or in a facility, it gets very expensive.  The median cost of a nursing home is over $90,000 a year and could be much higher depending on where you live and where you get care.  If you plan to stay in your home to avoid the high cost of nursing homes, this could require home renovations.  Widening doorways can cost on average $1,100, but that can be up to $40,000 if structural changes are required.  Walk-in bathtubs average installation cost is $5,000 and can go over $10,000. Non-slip flooring costs on average $8,000 and can be up to over $10,000 also. 

These expenses help to prove the case for planning ahead and having a complete retirement plan in place before the need becomes and emergency…and expensive.  There are many options other than basic Long Term Care insurance policies that can be utilized to ensure you are taken care of when it is needed…whether it is Skilled Nursing Care, Assisted Living, or Home Health Care. 

Long Term Care is just one piece of the retirement planning process.  There are many different tools to provide Long Term Care options.  It’s not just the cookie cutter LTC Insurance that is available.  As an individual agent, Alpha Planning has access to various options.  Each individual is different, as are their needs.  If you would like to learn more about Long Term Care coverage, please schedule a meeting with us.

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