Do you or your parents need long-term care insurance? Let me give you my perspective as a financial professional who does not sell insurance.
People use their retirement income for what they value the most: family, friends, personal independence, and dignity. People need long-term care when a chronic condition limits their ability to carry out basic self-care tasks.
Long-term care involves the most intimate aspects of our lives—eating, bathing, personal hygiene, getting dressed, and using the bathroom. The lifetime probability of eventually needing daily assistance is higher than 50%.
Some people expect that the government will take care of them through Medicaid and Medicare. Unfortunately, financial reality limits these benefits. More than 75% of adults in need of long-term care depend on family and friends as their only source of help. Relying solely on family members often results in great strain for the family caregivers.
Even if only one spouse needs assistance, two things can happen:
- The healthy spouse can become severely burdened (even ill) with care-giving responsibilities.
- If professional assistance is needed, the financial impact can be severe. Unless you have adequate resources, this can force you into a financially compromised situation.
It may be easier to budget in a long-term care insurance premium than trying to budget in the potentially enormous cost of providing long-term care.
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