When it comes to money, most people get emotional. Making financial decisions is tough for many people.
When you buy a house, it is usually fun and exciting! When you purchase an auto or homeowners insurance, it may be frustrating, as you feel it is way too expensive.
One of the hardest financial decisions to make in your life is whether to purchase Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance. LTC insurance pays for a nursing home or home health care aid when you need additional medical care.
The reason that it is difficult to make this type of buying decision is because there are a lot of feelings and emotions involved related to aging and illness. In addition, it is emotional because of the amount of money that might be needed for this type of medical care.
Do you know someone who is currently in a nursing home or receiving care at home? Have you had to clean up after a parent that didn’t make it to the bathroom on time? How will your family feel about taking care of you when you are sick and need help? Do you think LTC insurance is too expensive and don’t want to part with the money?
Recently a friend whose mom is 80 years old and has had numerous illnesses over the years contracted a bacterial infection. The infection started with a trip to the emergency room and a four-day hospital stay. Mom was then sent home to recuperate, even though she was still in pretty bad shape. The illness was so bad that my friend had to stay home from work for several days to take care of her mother.
While she loves her mother, my friend quickly realized that taking care of mom was a lot harder than expected. It was uncomfortable to help her with bathing. It was aggravating to have to do all of the things that mom did for herself before she was sick. Watching her mom in pain was very difficult and she did not feel equipped to take on this responsibility.
While staying at home, new considerations came into play. How much vacation and sick time would she have to use up that she had earmarked for a family vacation? Would mom be better off in a nursing home with closer supervision? Would a home health care aid be sufficient? How much would a person that specializes in senior care cost? What is mom going to think about all of this?
When it comes to caring for a loved one who needs additional medical care, it’s not easy. The cost of care has skyrocketed, and the average cost of a nursing home is more than $200 per day nationally. Rates for a home health caregiver are over $20 per hour. These fees add up quickly.
If you are over the age of 50 in good health and haven’t considered buying LTC insurance, then you should put yourself in the shoes of my friend. Ask these questions and determine what you would want to happen if you should become ill and aren’t capable of taking care of yourself?
While paying for insurance that you may never use feels like a waste of money, what if you eventually have to pay for a nursing home? If you do get sick, how will everyone feel knowing that the finances are mostly covered? Conversely, how will you feel if you didn’t purchase LTC insurance when you had the money to pay for the insurance?
When considering purchasing LTC insurance, be aware that it will be emotional. However, having to pay for a nursing home is both emotionally and financially painful. Sometimes spending the money up front for long-term care is well worth not having to go through the emotional and financial drain of paying for this care out of your pocket. Think about it now so that your loved ones won’t have to deal with it later!
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