Check out this article that appeared in the NY Times:
You may never need long term care, but if you do, you’ll know that you’re prepared for whatever life may bring.
Most of us realize the fact that it’s going to be more expensive for us to take care of ourselves down the road, and we need to budget accordingly. Prior to making any decisions, make sure you talk to your advisor or agent about how to handle any proposed increases or changes in policy structure.
Consider this: In a recent Financial Planning Association blog, Ira L. Barnett, LUTCVF, said, “There are two possible mistakes someone can make in deciding to obtain LTC insurance: 1. Buy the coverage and never have a claim (loss of premium paid, lost income potential, etc.). 2. Not buy the coverage and have a claim. Personally, mistake #1 is a lot more attractive!”
So when is the best time to buy long term care insurance?
Answer – Of course, most of us need to balance our investments and expenses carefully, and long term care insurance has to be factored in with many other responsibilities. But it is important to note that long term care insurance is generally less expensive for younger buyers than for older ones. In addition, it is smart to buy long term care insurance while you are relatively healthy. Unfortunately, once a person’s health declines, he or she may become ineligible for long term care insurance.
The simple answer is this: the right time to buy long term care insurance is when you can afford it, and before you need it. We can work with you to help create a policy that meets your needs and suits your budget. Call me for a FREE needs analysis and informational booklet, (808)216-4147.
Perhaps Dorothy, in “The Wizards of Oz”, said it best: There’s no place like home! That’s why many Hawaii residents who need LTC prefer to receive it in their own homes. The ability to live independently is critical to maintaining quality of life. Remember, long-term care is not just about nursing homes anymore. Ultimately, coverage gives you the freedom of choice.
Here are my top ten reasons to buy LTC insurance coverage:
1. You will have an experienced professional available to plan for your care at home, providing all types of services related to your particular illness, injury, or condition.
2. Your family can be part of the care plan, but will not have to be the planners.
3. You will have the money to pay for long term care (according to PBN, Hawaii ranked 7th most expensive in the nation for home care services, with a median annual rate of $51,480 in 2010) without having to deplete the family nest egg.
4. Your loved ones can carry on a more normal life rather than being subject to your everyday (“activities of daily living” like bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, etc.) needs.
5. Your family will be able to attend to your needs out of love rather than obligation.
6. Because you’ll have the funds, you will be able to choose your own facility or choose to stay at home longer rather than prematurely entering a nursing home.
7. You will be able to leave some of what you have to your family rather than using up a large portion of their assets to pay for needed care.
8. You will be able to stay with your children or other loved ones without depending on them for all your care.
9. You can feel good knowing that all of the money you worked so hard to attain won’t be used up in a few short years (PBN reported that Hawaii’s nursing home costs have a median annual rate of $114,975, compared to the national average of $75,190).
10. Finally, there will be less friction between family members; one member won’t be stuck with the responsibility of caregiving.
M. Garrett Wheeler is a long-term care specialist with Guardian in Honolulu, Hawaii. He’ll be glad to explore your options for coverage that suits you best, so that if you ever need it, you’ll have the freedom to choose the care setting that is most appropriate for your circumstances. He may be reached at email@example.com or by phone at (808) 216-4147.