Over the years, it has become clear that most people buy long term care insurance for one or more of these reasons. If any of these sound like you, take a careful look at this type of coverage – you may still decide it isn’t for you, but at least you will have done your homework and made an informed decision.
1. LTC insurance decreases the burden to a family.
– Most often people who have lived thru long term care with their own parents, grandparents or other relatives understand fully just how much of a labor of love caring for an adult can be. While it is about love – it is also DEFINITELY a labor. Frequently someone has to go to part time work or quit a job altogether to be a care giver. This often financially impacts the next generation. Long-running care givers also suffer from “Care Giver Syndrome” where their own health and emotional stability are compromised. When you have experienced this kind of financial, physical and emotional toll, you will also decide you want to have resources to pay for long term care so you aren’t a burden to your family.
2. Long Term Care insurance protects the surviving spouse
– If you haven’t done the math on how much care will cost by the time you are a senior and will need to pay for it, you should. You will be shocked at how much the cost of long term care will go up over the next 15 to 30 years as inflation drives prices ever upwards. The federal government estimates that most Americans will be bankrupt within 10 months of needing long term care (see: gov for more facts). If one spouse is in care for an extended window it can seriously compromise the ability of the well spouse to continue to live a quality of life.
3. Long Term Care insurance protects assets for inheritance.
– It is less common in our generation than in generations behind us, but still some people will say they would like to leave a financial legacy behind them. If this is true, then you simply have to have a strategy to protect enough of your assets that there is something to leave when you die. A protracted run of care (or even a short run of very expensive care, like cancer or open heart surgery), can deplete assets to the point where you are not able to leave a financial legacy. Families that have farms, houses, business or other such real estate face a particular challenge in this area.
4. Long Term Care insurance is a bridge strategy when assets are all tangible
– I have many clients whose net worth is in the millions. But all of it is in property of some kind (land, buildings, machinery, etc.). These folks have the capacity to cover a great deal of their care, but they don’t want to have to sell everything in a pinch (have a fire sale!) and take pennies on the dollar for the true value. So they have a bridge strategy – something that pays for long term care while they liquidate their assets.
5. You can control where Long Term Care happens.
– sometimes folks don’t have significant assets, but they REALLY don’t want to become a ward of the state down the years and have to be in welfare-based care. In most states Medicaid (welfare) only pays for care in a nursing home. So to avoid that situation, people will sometimes buy a small policy that will give them money for home care or to pay part of the assisted living cost so they can have choice and control over where care happens.
There are other reasons to buy long term care. Sometimes as many as there are people who are looking into this. But if any of these touches off a concern for you, you would be smart to talk to a seasoned agent who specialized in long term care insurance (maybe more than one agent! Like doctors, a second opinion on this magnitude of a decision never hurts). Get some numbers and facts so you can make a wise decision for you and your family.
As always if we can help you with your long term care buying decision please shoot us an email or call.
Contact – Mrs. LTC
Long Term Care Claims & Insurance