With all the years of hard work, saving, and sometimes going without, does it make sense to risk losing or diminishing your assets to self-pay for nursing home care, assisted living or in-home health care? Of course not. So, why don’t most people plan for this eventual occurrence? Experts say these folks are caught in the worst nation to be in: Procrastination.
Thanks to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, National Long-Term Care (LTC) Awareness Month celebrates its 20th year bringing awareness and support to those giving and receiving long-term care.
As they tell us, the more we understand the emotional, physical, and economic toll that long-term care can take on loved ones, the more we can and should prepare for our own futures so we don’t become a burden to the people we love the most.
Why People Don’t Plan for a Catastrophic Event
(1) They don’t think it will happen to them
(2) They think their children will take care of them
(3) They think Medicare or Medicaid will pick up the tab
(4) They think they can use their investments to pay for care
There was a time when long-term care insurance (LTCI) was nothing more than a mere mention by insurance agents and financial planners. Today, a little over 7 million Americans have this type of insurance. And that’s still not enough. Without LTC planning, we face a crisis.
Planning ahead for a long-term crisis before it strikes protects you, your family, your assets and your heirs. With many people, their financial planning and estate planning is already done. Nothing should derail the professional planning crafted by financial planners like we have at Hefren-Tillotson. And nothing will with MASTERPLAN®.
Honoring the Efforts
One way you can honor National Long-Term Care Awareness Month is by simply looking into getting long-term-care insurance. Should you and your family be faced with a health crisis, you should only be paying for your annual premium—not for your daily, weekly, monthly or yearly bill for a room in a 160-bed facility somewhere. Remember: you want to transfer the risk to the insurance company, not absorb the risk yourself.
Rather than a family member caring for you at home, you could have a nurse caring for you. Without insurance, you will likely pay around $140,000 out of pocket on average.
Long-term care insurance is funding for yourself when you’re unable to care for yourself.
It safeguards your savings and investments and puts you in charge of your own financial security.
The Biggest Single Retirement Expense
Unfortunately, it is also the least planned for. Long-term care planning protection is an important part of investment planning because it’s about solving problems that may arise if you or a family member becomes incapacitated. It is about providing assistance to perform the normal activities of daily living (ADL) that we all take for granted: bathing, eating, dressing, continence, toileting and transferring from one place to another.
For someone who is unable to perform 2 of 6 ADLs for a period of at least 90 days, he or she is considered to need to long-term care assistance in the form of home care or facility care, depending on the problem.
National Long-Term Care Awareness Month stresses remaining independent should you need care, and ensures that you can still make choices regarding the type of care you will receive, unlike Medicaid, which leaves you no choices regarding your care or where you will receive it.
Most people find the conversation uncomfortable and they avoid it. And because the conversation is also about insurance, it is considered an expense rather than an investment. One way to look at long-term care insurance is to view it as an investment in your future. You don’t want a lifetime of diligent saving to quickly vanish. So when talking about being protected, it includes your finances as well.
“I Will Not Go To A Nursing Home”
National Long-Term Care Awareness Month takes in all aspects of planning for your future and where you will age in place, because long-term care protection is for everyone, not just for seniors.
Sure, seniors are mostly the ones who will be the first to say, “I am not going to a nursing home.” By using insurance to pay for some form of long-term care, it may be the only thing keeping him or her out of a nursing home, by providing financial assistance for assisted living, adult day care and home care.
The month-long awareness campaign reminds everyone that if you need long-term care, using LTC insurance gives you choices to where you will receive your care because you have the funds to pay for that care, and the responsibility for receiving care will not fall onto family members. Having these choices helps to preserve your independence and your dignity. And those are truly priceless.
If you have questions or concerns, contact us at Hefren-Tillotson today. We will be happy to help.