Monthly Archives: May 2014

Assessing Your Risk of Long Term Care

If long term care seems like a far off concept to you, you aren’t alone. The majority of Americans aren’t thinking about long term care or the threat it poses to their retirement assets, but the reality is, the threat is looming whether you are thinking about it or not.

As with any insurance, risk varies from person to person. That is why most people put off planning for long term care; they view themselves as part of the low risk group and therefore, don’t see long term care planning as something that applies to them. Unlike most insurance areas, though, the risk of long term care is actually quite high.

Government studies estimate the risk of long term care to be 1 in 2 for the general population in the United States. Once an individual reaches the age of 65, that risk goes up substantially to 7 in 10, which makes sense. As we age, we become more fragile and susceptible to chronic illnesses that could land us in the hospital or cause us to need help with daily tasks like dressing and eating. People dread the thought of themselves as old and fragile, though, so planning for such a situation is often pushed into the back of their mind, sometimes until it is too late.

It’s not uncommon for people to wait to plan for long term care until they need it. By then, it is much too late. It’s essentially impossible to get long term care coverage once you have been diagnosed with any sort of condition that requires it, which is why planning ahead is vital. The risk isn’t the same for every one, though, so consider these three aspects to help assess your risk and determine the best way for you to plan for long term care.

1) Family history – One of the best indicators of your risk for chronic diseases, your family history can help you know whether or not you have a higher chance of developing certain conditions. Of course it’s no guarantee, but certain diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s have genetic influences. If your family has a long history of any of these diseases, it’s likely not in your best interest to avoid the subject of planning for this risk.

2) Current health – Your current age and health can help you predict where you will be in another 5, 10, or 15 years. Are you struggling from medical ailments right now? Do you already have some sort of manageable chronic disease? If so, planning for long term care should be a high priority. The more medical conditions you have, the less likely you are to qualify for long term care coverage. Waiting will only decrease your chances.

3) Diet - The food we put into our bodies has a huge impact on our current and future health. Even if you have a family history of heart disease, you can help yourself avoid the same fate by eating a healthful diet rich in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes. All of these foods are full of fiber and antioxidants, low in fat, and lacking in cholesterol. Consuming a diet high in fatty foods like processed sweets, red meat, and cheese can increase your risk of heart disease and may even increase your risk of Alzheimer’s, according to a recent study that found cholesterol affects risk of dementia.

Understanding your personal risk for long term care can help you make the decision as to which long term care planning route is best for you. Long Term Care Insurance can be a great tool to add to your retirement portfolio, especially if you already know that you are at risk of needing long term care later in life.

Read more about determining your long term care risk here.

Buying Long Term Care Insurance Online

If you are planning for retirement and have realized that now is the time to begin looking at Long Term Care Insurance, know that you are already ahead of the curve. Most Americans aren’t even thinking about long term care, either because they are unaware of the risk or think they will be able to beat the odds. The truth is, though, it’s impossible to know if we will ever need care. That’s where Long Term Care Insurance comes in.

The No-Pressure Process

Long Term Care Insurance can help you shield your hard earned assets from the high cost of long term care, which continues to rise year after year. Not all Long Term Care Insurance is created equal, though, so be sure when you do start looking at policies, you look in the right place.

We help consumers shop for Long Term Care Insurance in a no-pressure way. Our approach is quite different from the typical way people buy insurance and we are confident that it is better. Rather than set up a sales meeting in your home, we send the information to you. Once we find out your influencing factors like your age, health, and the benefits you want, we will compile a list of the top five or six Long Term Care Insurance carriers in the industry.

Included in that list will be all the detailed benefit information, as well as vital information on each of the companies. We provide our clients with the rate increases history and financial ratings of each company to help ensure they are making the most informed decisions people.

You Have Choices

When you buy insurance in a sales meeting, though, the process is quite different. Oftentimes, you are only given one company. That is because some agents are considered “captive” agents, meaning they get paid to promote a certain policy. Whether a better option exists for you or not, some agents will push the same policy no matter the circumstances. This may be good for their business, but it’s bad for consumers. Having choices is the key to making a smart decision when it comes to buying insurance.

If you are interested in information on current prices for Long Term Care Insurance, request a free quote today. We will put together your binder, send it in the mail, and let you make a decision on your own timetable. No pressure, no rush to buy. If you are still not sure whether a policy is right for you, read more here.

Consider Long Term Care Insurance for Your Aging Parents

Too often, we get calls from panicked people who are looking for help for their aging parents. Most of the time, the calls sound something like this: “My mother had a stroke last week and the doctors say she will need long term care for at least several months – How can I apply for coverage for her care?”

Don’t Wait Too Long

Unfortunately, we have to break the news to these children that it is too late to apply for coverage. Once a medical or health problem like stroke, a bad fall, or Alzheimer’s diagnosis has already occurred, there is no chance of qualifying for Long Term Care Insurance. It makes sense because there is no question of risk at that point, and insurance is all about risk. Once the risk has become 100%, it would be bad business for a company to write a policy for someone who already needs care.

Since those individuals who need long term care but didn’t plan ahead for that type of situation are unable to qualify for a policy, there are a couple of different routes they may take. They might turn to a family member for care, they might spend their own assets on care, or if they have already spent through their assets on care or don’t have enough to cover the cost, they might enroll in Medicaid and receive care from the federal government. None of these three options are ideal for any one, which is why planning ahead for this kind of care is so crucial.

Start Thinking Early

If you are an adult with aging parents who haven’t yet considered how they will cover the cost of long term care should they need it, you can help them plan by looking into long term care coverage. By buying a policy, not only are you protecting their hard earned assets from the growing cost of care, but you are also helping ensure you won’t have to provide long term care for them down the road, which can disrupt your life and place a huge amount of guilt on your parents. Most parents don’t want to burden their children with their care, and Long Term Care Insurance can help them avoid that situation.

Policies don’t have to be frighteningly expensive. In fact, they can be quite affordable. It’s important to buy as early as possible, so don’t wait until your parents are close to needing care, because their chances of qualifying will be slim to none by that time. Because your parents may never actually use the policy, it’s vital to strike a good balance between benefits and cost.

What About You?

Working with an independent agent can help you find the policy that is right for your parents. While you’re at it, you might want to look for yourself, too! The best age to buy Long Term Care Insurance is in your early 50s, when you are still in good health and can therefore get lower premiums than if you bought later in life. To read more about who should buy Long Term Care Insurance, click here.

Long Term Care Insurance

We provide consumers with Long Term Care Insurance quotes that help you shop the market and compare policies from the top providers, getting you best plan at the lowest rates and allow you to safeguard their assets and protect your future health.

Long Term Care Insurance gives you peace of mind that you won’t be forced to exhaust all of your assets in order to pay for long term care in your senior years. The risk that you will need long term care is high and planning ahead is crucial.

Financial Planning Now

Thanks to technology and progress in the medical industry, people are living longer than ever.

– Women are living to an average of 81 years of age

– Men are living to an average of 76 years of age

Because we now spend many more years in retirement than the generations before us, it is vital to save more for these years than our parents or grandparents did.

Chances are, you or a loved one will require long term care services in your senior years.  A government study estimates that 7 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 will need long term care at some point.

Planning ahead can help you avoid the stress and trauma that many experience with long term care.

What is Long Term Care?

Long term care refers to a number of services provided to those who need assistance. In-home health aides, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and adult day cares are some of the most common forms of long term care.  Cognitive problems are the number one reason people file a claim on their Long Term Care Insurance plans.

59% of seniors age 85 or older have Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another form of cognitive decline.

Other top reasons for needing long term care heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, and bone fractures.  Long term care isn’t just for the elderly, either.

40% of the 14 million people receiving long term care in the United States are between ages 18 and 65.

Knowing your risk and assessing your options can save you a lot of stress and money should you ever encounter a situation where you require long term care.

How Much Does Long Term Care Cost?

Bottom line: long term care is expensive. The costs are often a shock to people.  Genworth recently released their Cost of Care Survey and found these average annual costs:

A private room in a nursing home – $83,950

In-home health care is much cheaper – $44,479

Assisted living – $41,400

Adult day cares are much cheaper (daytime only) – $16,900

The average stay in a nursing home is around 3 years, meaning you could pay upwards of $250,000 just for care. Inflation is increasing the costs at a steady rate, and the annual cost of a nursing home is expected to jump $20,000 in just 2 years. Nursing homes aren’t the most common form of long term care, though, and for every 1 person in a nursing home receiving care, there are 4 people receiving care at home. Although cheaper, in-home care is still not affordable for most people.

These costs can destroy your savings and leave you broke after years of hard work.  In order to avoid exhausting all of your assets and compromising the quality of care you receive, you can take some steps to prevent this financial disaster and prepare for the cost of care you will most likely need.

How Can Long Term Care Insurance Help Me?

More people are turning to Long Term Care Insurance to help safeguard their assets against the astronomical costs of long term care. Long Term Care Insurance helps pay for these costs, even if you want to receive in-home health care. An LTCI policy will help you maintain your independence and dignity, protect your hard earned money and valuable assets, and prevent you from becoming a burden on your family and loved ones.

Call us for a quote today at 1-800-800-6139 or fill out our online form.