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Is Long Term Care a Woman’s Issue?

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Daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend.

As a woman, you’ve spent your life taking care of other people. Now it’s time to take care of yourself. You want to do everything you can to maintain your lifestyle and independence. As you plan ahead for your retirement years, one important step is to consider how the need for long term care could impact your future and that of your family’s.

The need is real
It’s estimated that 70% of people over age 65 will require some period of ongoing assistance or supervision, due to physical or cognitive impairments. Long-term care is the type of assistance you may require, as the result of a physical or cognitive impairment that prevents you from independently performing some of the basic tasks of daily living, such as eating, bathing or dressing. Although the need is commonly associated with the aging process, this care could be required at any age, due to an accident or illness.

The cost is high
Women are living longer than ever – the current life expectancy for women is 81.2 years, compared to 76.4 years for men. Women also remain single longer in today’s world, and may find themselves financially vulnerable after a divorce or losing a partner/spouse. This planning is about making sure you don’t outlive your savings and that there is someone to take care of you.

  • The national average cost for one year in a nursing home exceeds $94,000.
  • The national average cost for one year of home care is approximately $30,000.
  • These costs are estimated to rise to over $323,000 a year in 30 years.

What’s your plan?
You need to ask yourself, how you would pay for care should you ever need it and who will take care of me?

  • Medical and disability insurance do not pay for long term care.
  • Medicare has stringent requirements, which most long-term care scenarios do not meet and the focus is on CURING not CARING.
  • Medicaid requires you to spend down your assets to certain levels and then limits where you can receive care.

Transferring the risk
Long term care insurance policies today are dramatically different than they were just a few short years ago. The new policies have options and features that consumers seek – affordability, options for future growth and flexibility in terms of care options.

The premiums are based on two things when you apply – age and health. The most cost-effective time to purchase a policy is generally between ages 50 and 65 although the most frustrating thing I deal with is getting people medically underwritten. 30% of the people who apply for this insurance outside of a worksite plan get declined due to pre-existing medical issues.

The moral of the story is to educate yourself now in order to make a determination as to whether insurance makes sense for you or not. You’ll never be younger and you’ll never be healthier than you are today! November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month. I encourage you to review your financial goals and think ahead about how you and your family would want to manage a long-term care situation.

APCM Wealth Management for Individuals is hosting Allison Payne for our event for women on Tuesday, October 21st at 4:30 p.m. at The Petroleum Club of Anchorage.  Understanding how long-term care fits in with retirement planning and the impact on women will be the focus of Allison Payne’s presentation. RSVP to Laura Bruce at laura@apcm.net or call 907.272.7575.

Allison Payne, CLTC
Long Term Care Specialist, ACSIA Partners

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