Prepare for Health Care Costs During Retirement

MoneyAs you save and invest for retirement, what are your ultimate goals? Do you plan on travelling the world?

Purchasing a vacation home? Pursuing your hobbies? People often think and plan for these costs. Yet, too often, many of us overlook what potentially could be a major expense during our retirement years: health care. By preparing for these costs, you can help yourself enjoy the retirement lifestyle you’ve envisioned.

Long-term care costs

Many of us may ignore the impact of health care costs because we just assume provincial healthcare will pay for everything. But that’s not the case. Furthermore, provincial healthcare does not include the costs of long-term care, which vary by individual and can be considerable.

So what can you do to help cope with these costs? Here are a few suggestions:

Estimate your costs Try to estimate what your out-of-pocket health care costs might be, based on your health, your age at retirement, whatever supplemental insurance you may carry and other factors.

Key dates

Know the key dates Things can change in your life, but try to identify, as closely as possible, the age at which you plan to retire. This will help you spot any coverage gaps.

Invest for growth and rising income health care costs typically rise as you move further into retirement, so make sure that a reasonable portion of your assets is allocated to investments with the potential for both growth and rising income.

Review your insurance options The purchase of long-term care insurance may offer flexibility and financial resources to stay in your home rather than living in a long-term care facility should you require round the clock medical care.

Considerations

Alternatively, if you live longer than expected you may need to consider the cost of healthcare at a later age and structure your financial strategy to take those considerations into account.

Annuities are one income generating vehicle to consider for those who are concerned about living longer and having to pay health care costs out of pocket later in life.

Develop a long-term care strategy To meet long-term care costs, you could self-insure or purchase insurance coverage.

To learn about long-term care insurance solutions, contact your financial advisor.

Health care

Think about health care directives. If you were to become incapacitated, you might be unable to make health care decisions — and these decisions may affect not only your quality of life but also your financial situation, and that of your family.

Talk to your legal advisor about establishing a health care directive, which allows you to name someone to make choices on your behalf.

Health care costs during your retirement may be unavoidable. But by anticipating these costs, you can put yourself in a position to deal with them — and that’s a healthy place to be.

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Genworth Launches National Advisory Center for Long Term Care Information

website-hostingToday, Genworth Financial, Inc announced the launch of its new website www.longtermcareinsurance.org , designed to help fill the information gap for consumers about the reality of long term care and the importance of planning for the future.  The website, named the National Advisory Center for Long Term Care Information (NACLTCI), sponsored by Genworth, is focused on providing clear, concise and unbiased information to consumers faced with making decisions related to long term care.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click:http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7206251-genworth-launches-national-advisory-center-for-long-term-care-information-website

The new website, part of Genworth’s over-arching consumer campaign to educate and advance change in the long term care industry, presents a holistic view of the long term care issue and allows consumers to compare the cost of care, determine care needs and develop a long term care strategy to best suit their circumstances.  From frequently asked questions about long term care and caregiving, to specific checklists that can help families initiate conversations and create a plan, longtermcareinsurance.org guides consumers along every step of the process.  After evaluating their options, if desired, consumers can request a consultation and quote for long term care insurance. The website will not present or discuss Genworth long term care insurance products.

“There isn’t a one-size-fits-all mold when it comes to long term care planning.  We’re dedicated to providing consumers with resources so that they can make the right decisions for their families and loved ones,” said Tom McInerney, CEO of Genworth. “Longtermcareinsurance.org future plans include featuring real stories about the importance of long term care planning that consumers can relate to, as well as expert third-party insight and guidance to allow consumers to make the right financial planning choices.  This is just another way we’re trying to drive change in the long term care space.”

Surprisingly, despite well-known demographic shifts of people working and living longer, many Americans do not recognize the need for a long term care plan.  Seventy percent of Americans turning 65 can expect to need some form of long-term care during their lives.1 However, according to research conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research2, 65 percent of those 40 years or older report having done little or no planning.  Additionally, many Americans 40 or older overestimate the amount that Medicare and Medicaid will help, with 39 percent believing that Medicare should share a large or very large amount of the financial responsibility, and 37 percent believing Medicaid should do the same.

“As a leader in the long term care industry, Genworth embraces its obligation to educate, innovate and bring new solutions to market that meet the long term care needs of Americans,” added John Whitcomb,  senior vice president of thought leadership for the U.S. Life insurance division.  “The National Advisory Center for Long Term Care Information is part of our multi-pronged approach to ensure we are living up to our responsibility to prepare consumers for their future long term care needs.”

Ongoing news, industry updates and guidance on navigating long term care will be available at Longtermcareinsurance.org.  Genworth also provides a host of tools and other resources to help close the financial literacy gap and help Americans properly plan for their financial futures, including:

  • Genworth’s Let’s Talk resources offer tips for initiating conversations about retirement and planning for the future with loved ones

  • Join Genworth on Facebook for tips, polls and discussions to help you keep all types of financial promises

 

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New Report Shows How Americans Perceive Long-Term Care

How-Americans-Perceive-Long-Term-Care-300x199A new report about long-term care in the U.S. includes results of 1,419 interviews conducted among a nationally representative sample of Americans aged 40 years and above.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released new report showing how Americans perceive long-term care this month and it is the second study done by the organization about the public views of long-term care.

The first study, which was done in 2013, was conducted in order to gauge what Americans know or do not know about long-term care and their level of preparedness for this possible need.

The organization found that only a handful of Americans are prepared and understand the financial costs and impact of a long-term care event. Also, the group found that majority of Americans who are 40 and older expect that their families will provide assistance as they grow older.

The organization recognized that family members play a vital role in providing long-term care so they conducted a second study to explore the level of influence that the family has over long-term care.

More so, they intended to find who provides and receives care, as well as the effects of caregiving on family relationships and personal experience.

What changed in from 2013 to 2014?

After evaluating the results of the two studies, AP-NORC reports findings that the Americans’ understanding of long-term care, personal experiences with long-term care, perceptions about their own care and their loved one’s care remained relatively constant from last year’s responses.

Meanwhile, the second study found that in 2014, Americans are more supportive of a long-term care program ran by the government, similar to Medicare. Also, respondents say that setting a number of measures will be helpful in measuring the present quality of living assistance.

How much LTC does Family Members Provide?

According to the study, the majority of Americans who are 40 years old and above rely on their families for long-term care. More so, people who receive care are mostly moms. In fact, four in 10 caregivers have provided care to their mothers. This further illustrates the fact that long-term care should be a more pressing concern for women. In fact, most people who experienced long-term care are female, and are part of the baby boomer and low-income groups.

The Effect of Caregiving on Relationships and LTC Preparedness

Participants in the report who are 40 and older reported they are more likely to plan for long-term care if they experienced a long-term care event. They are less likely to expect that they can count on their families for care should they need it.

However, the overall percentage of people who expect that their loved ones will meet a huge part of their LTC needs remain high. 74 percent of those without a long-term care experience and 67 percent of those who have expect their families to take care of them.

Meanwhile, caregivers report that their experience in taking care of a loved one is mostly positive.

However, results show that relationship strain resulting from caregiving is more prevalent among people who end up taking care of their spouses. About 40 percent reported that taking care of their spouse or partner have resulted to financial burden, while more than half admit that it has caused stress in the family.

Of the respondents who expect to be caregivers in the next five years, only 3 in 10 say that they are prepared to take on the job.

The Need to Raise Awareness on LTC

Americans have limited knowledge about ongoing living assistance, the study found. But between information coming from friends and family, and long-term care experts and professionals, they tend to believe information that comes from the latter.

By 2030, the senior population is expected to make up 20 percent of the U.S. That means that there will be about 73 million Americans over the age of 65. Further, it is estimated that seven out of 10 individuals who are 65 and older will need long-term care, while one in four people aged 18 to 64 will also require a form of care service.

The results show more people will be at risk for long-term care as time passes, and this calls for a better strategy in addressing this possible need. One way to begin is to start educating yourself about long-term care and how it can affect your quality of life.

Here in LTC Options, you can learn about these things. Our website and blog offer a huge pool of information about long-term care and how you can prepare for it.

Source:

http://www.ltcoptions.com/new-report-shows-americans-perceive-long-term-care/

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Can I Buy Long-Term Care Insurance for Mom and Dad?

LTC-insurance-for-parents-300x200Yes, you can buy long-term care insurance for your parents. In fact, it’s a very wise move if you want to maintain not just their quality of life, but yours as well.

Typically, it is a parent’s job to secure his children’s future. But you, as a son or daughter, may have felt concern over what your parents’ life would be like once they grow frail and need assistance in their day to day activities. If you want to ensure that they’re taken care of years from now, you can buy long-term care insurance for them.

How can I get a policy for them?

First off, you need to get their consent before you can purchase a policy under their name. Since coverage is intended to protect them, the policy will be named to them and not you. Likewise, they will be the one to sign on the policy.

Once they agreed, they will go through the usual qualification and underwriting process. Typically, the company will ask for your parent’s medical records and may ask them to undergo a medical screening. The younger and healthier they are, the higher their chances of getting qualified.

Factors to consider before purchasing a policy for your parents

Before you purchase a policy for your parents, here are things that you need to consider and discuss as a family.

  • Your parent’s age – Remember that age plays a crucial role in long-term care insurance. It’s advisable to buy coverage for your parents as they approach their 60s. This way, their chances of qualifying is still high and their health is still likely in a good state, thus, you can expect a lower premium. Meanwhile, if they are old and showing signs of a frailer health, they can be imposed a higher premium or worst, be denied of coverage. That’s why it’s not advisable to wait for a crisis before you purchase this coverage.
  • Financial capability –Look into your financial strength as well as your parent’s. Determine if you’ll shoulder the cost of long-term care insurance completely or if they have the ability to share the bill with you. Keep in mind that you need to be devoted in paying the premiums to ensure your parent’s coverage. That’s why it’s important to discuss about your financial resources before you decide to buy. Meanwhile, if you have siblings, ask them how much they are willing to pitch in for the policy.
  • Location – Will you buy long-term care insurance in your state or in your parent’s? Be clear on this area as care services vary from state to state, thus, how high the premiums will be is highly dependent on this. If your parents receive care close to their home, the familiar surroundings can be beneficial to their wellbeing. Meanwhile, if they are cared for in your state, you can easily visit and ensure that they are getting the best quality of care.

As you plan to buy long-term care insurance for your parents, keep in mind that it is a family thing. Involve every member in the whole process—from planning, acquisition and coverage. Getting a policy for your parents offers a win-win situation. It is beneficial for them as they can retain their independence and quality of life even if they are receiving care. On your end, your parents’ care requirements will not get in your way as you continually pursue the life you want because the policy already have them covered.

Source:

http://www.ltcoptions.com/can-i-buy-long-term-care-insurance-for-mom-and-dad/

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6 Things You Need to Know about Long-Term Care

6-Things-You-Need-to-Know-about-LTCI-300x168An industry statistic shows the disparity between those who will need long-term care and those who have made plans for the possibility through insurance.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 60 to 70 percent of Americans who are 65 years and older will need long-term care. However, a Metlife Mature Market Institute Study found that only 9 percent of Americans own long-term care insurance.

For those unfamiliar with the type of insurance that focuses on long-term care, it pays benefits when a person becomes unable to care or do basic day-to-day task for themselves.

Why the majority of Americans put off planning for long-term care is certainly up for debate, but some of the causes include people’s distaste for considering that they someday might need to rely on another to accomplish basic tasks.

However, not preparing for long-term care can have drastic effects in the future such as ending up with depleted savings due to care-related expenses, according to experts.

To help you understand what long-term care is about, here are six things that’s essential to know. Recognizing these facts will help you prepare for one of the biggest challenges that you can face later on in life. Here are the 6 things you need to know about long-term care.

1. Government programs provide limited coverage for LTC.

Generally, Medicare don’t pay for long-term care, but what it covers is a 100-day stay in a nursing home following at least a three-day stay in a hospital. Medicaid, on the other hand, covers long-term care but on a condition that a person’s assets is not more than a specific limit, which today is $2,000. Also, the two programs offer limited coverage as they only pay for accredited facilities. Home care, on the other hand, is seldom covered by this program.

2. The cost of long-term care is ever increasing.

In 2013, the annual average cost of staying in a private room in a nursing home is $83,950, as per Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey, but for 2014, the annual median cost has escalated to $87,600.

The cost of long-term care is expensive and it’s not showing signs of going down in the years to come. In fact, the five-year annual growth in cost of the different care settings and services are as follows:

  • Homemaker services – 1.20%
  • Home Health Aide Services – 1.32%
  • Adult Day Health Care – 3.40%
  • Assisted Living Facility – 4.29%
  • Semi-Private Room in a Nursing Home – 3.91%
  • Private Room in a Nursing Home – 4.19%

Based from these statistics, an event that warrants long-term care services can easily deplete a lifetime of savings. Since this is the case, you need to determine how your possible care expenses will be covered. Experts say you must investigate how you can become insured under long-term care insurance.

3. Long-term care is not just about nursing homes.

Most long-term care insurance policies issued in the past only covered nursing homes, but today the product has evolved to cover a wide variety of care services because the majority of Americans wants to receive care in their own homes.

Clearly, long term care is not just about nursing homes. In fact, it involves care services given in the home or in other community-based settings. You have a lot of options on where and how you will receive care. It’s just a matter of knowing what these are and deciding which one is best for you and your family.

4. LTCi is expensive, but it can be made affordable.

There are several ways to make long-term care insurance fit to your budget. One is buying coverage while you’re still young, preferably during your 50s. At this point, you can lock in lower premiums as well as discounts for simply being healthy. Purchasing a specific benefit duration can also lower your premiums, as opposed to buying a lifetime coverage. In addition, you can also opt for a longer elimination period (the time before payments begin) in order to lower the cost of your coverage.

5. Family members can provide care, but it also comes with a cost.

Care provided by family members remains a large source of long-term care. More 10 million individuals who are over 50 provide care to their elderly parents, according to government statistics. As family members provide for the care requirements of their loved ones, they also experience financial hardships. In fact caregiving for a loved one resulted to lost wages amounting to $324,000 for women and $283,000 for men.

6. Long-term care is not just an issue for seniors.

Statistics show that 40 percent of individuals who receive long-term care are between 18 and 64 years old. Clearly, even those who are in the younger age groups are still at risk for needing long-term care. It may be due to medical conditions or injuries resulting to physical activities or accidents, but someone does not have to be older to need long-term care.

So, anyone can experience an event that will warrant long-term care services and this is the key reason to plan for long-term care ahead of time.

Source:

http://www.ltcoptions.com/6-things-need-know-long-term-care/

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Nursing Homes: Getting Good Care There (Kindle E-book)

NursingHomes_0

Nursing Homes Getting Good Care There is considered as a widely acclaimed classic consumer guide by The Consumer’s Voice. This e-book is teeming with standards of care, specific advocacy strategies and checklists. It is a must-read for family members, residents and advocates who are looking for the best possible care inside a nursing home. If you’re a volunteer or paid ombudsman, this e-book can also serve as a great training tool for you. Click here to download the e-book for kindle users only. If you want the hard copy of this book, visit this website.

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Long Term Care: Planning ahead and securing your future

The title says it all, people should start planning early for long term care in order to secure their future. This is an important activity that people shouldn’t put off especially if they are nearing retirement. Why? Everyone has a high chance of requiring this type of care since 3/4 of the older population who are 65 years old and above will require long-term care. Another reason to plan ahead is the misconception that your assets and savings are enough to cover your long term care expenses. The outcome is a ghastly scenario wherein families exhaust their nest egg because they underestimated the cost of care. People should acknowledge the importance of long term care planning early in order to have a comfortable and financially secured future.

WGA InsureBlog

What do you think of when you hear the words “Long Term Care?”  If you’re like most people, you might think of an insurance policy, or maybe a nursing home. Surprisingly though, Long Term Care involves much more than those things. Sure, a person can purchase a Long Term Care insurance policy, or go into a nursing home for an extended period of time, but it’s important not to forget about the emotional, physical and financial effects that also come into play for individuals dealing with Long Term Care. Whether it’s arthritis in our joints or amnesia in our minds, getting older and slowing down is inevitable for all of us, and while it may seem far off in the future, effective planning for how to handle these life changes as we age is critical.

Long Term Care planning becomes especially important for partners and spouses whose children are likely…

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