Report: Dementia Cases to Triple by 2050

Those afflicted with memory loss is expected to triple in 35 years. Now a leading reason people require Long Term Health Care, the 100 types of dementias and the impact memory loss has on loved ones will become an even bigger issue that demands planning prior to retirement.

A report just released (August, 2015) suggests worldwide dementia cases will triple by 2050. Currently 47 million people suffer from dementia. In just 35 years that number is expected to increase to 132 million.

Dementia is an umbrella term for degenerative diseases of the brain characterized by a gradual decline in the ability to think and remember. Accounting for well over half of cases, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

Today there are 900 million people 60 or older. Over the next 35 years, that age group will grow by 65 percent in rich countries, 185 percent in lower-middle income nations, and 239 percent in poor countries.

As the world gets older, the number of people with dementia is set to increase exponentially, notes the World Alzheimer Report 2015, produced by Alzheimer’s Disease International.

These numbers present challenges to government, families and medical professionals on how best to deal with more people who will require supervision.

Another report published in “Population and Development Review” suggests caregiving due to all types of Long Term Health Care is already at crisis mode requiring 1.2 billion hours of unpaid caregiving provided by families.

Emilio Zagheni, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Washington and co-author of the report says that America is entering the ‘Golden Age of Caregiving’. The issue is not going away as the World Alzheimer Report just deals with one aspect of Long Term Health Care, supervision due to memory loss.

Today there are 900 million people 60 or older. Over the next 35 years, that age group will grow by 65 percent in rich countries, 185 percent in lower-middle income nations, and 239 percent in poor countries.

In 2015 alone, there will be about 10 million new cases, one every few seconds and nearly 30 percent more than in 2010. The risk increases dramatically as we age although early onset dementias are becoming more common.

Care for memory loss is now the leading cause for private Long Term Care insurance claims, according to a consumer organization that monitors the product. In fact, more than one in four claims according to this 2012 report are related to this mind-robbing condition, noted Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).

“Considering the millions of Americans who will be living into their 80s, 90s and beyond without a financial plan in place to deal with the costs of Long Term Care it would be prudent for a massive educational effort,” said Slome.

Planning experts suggest that Long Term Care Insurance should be part of an over-all retirement plan. The U.S. is the biggest market for private Long Term Care Insurance but sales are gaining in Canada, Germany, United Kingdom and France.

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America Entering the ‘Golden Age of Caregiving’

The U.S. has entered the ‘Golden Age of Caregiving’ with more family members becoming caregivers while taking care of their own families and living their own lives. A new study shows caregivers work 1.2 billion unpaid hours creating huge burdens. This is why having affordable Long Term Care Insurance as part of your retirement plan is a smart way to address the physical, emotional and financial burdens ‪#‎longtermcare‬ places on loved ones.

America is in a “golden age” of caregiving according to a University of Washington Professor. Emilio Zagheni, an assistant professor of sociology, says in newly published research published in “Population and Development Review” that one third of Americans are informal caregivers who put in 1.2 billion hours of work per week.

Not only is this extra work placing emotional and physical burdens on the caregivers, it is also placing a financial strain since nobody is being paid for this work. A recent AARP study reports 60% of these family caregivers are working at their primary job full-time. The study also stated a majority of these caregivers said they felt overwhelmed with the caregiving and 39% felt financially stained as well. Many family caregivers must turn down overtime or job promotions due to the caregiving and their normal family responsibilities.

The time people spend caring for older adults is like having 30 million people snatched right out of the workforce. The effect on the economy is intense. Zagheni estimates that in 2012, unpaid care accounted for about 5 percent of America’s Gross Domestic Product, approximately $691 billion.

There are two groups of informal caregivers. One group are the older spouses, who many times suffer their own health issues while attempting to be caregivers. The second group are members of the so-called ‘sandwich generation’, the adult children who have their own children and careers that become impacted by the needs of their parent’s Long Term Health Care.

More people than ever before require help with activities-of-daily living or need supervision due to memory loss. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says if one reaches the age of 65 they will have a 70% chance of needing some type of extended Long Term Health Care before they pass.

While more and more people purchase Long Term Care Insurance as part of their retirement planning, many people don’t think about it until their health changes. At that point their insurance options are limited at best. The problem continues to grow as the population gets older and advances in medical science allow us to all live longer and longer.

“Another 1.3 million caregivers could be needed by 2050,” estimates Zagheni.

Changes in public policy, employer flexibility and more people taking advantage of Long Term Care Insurance will help families deal with the problem of aging.

U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. made aging an issue at the recent White House Conference on Aging.

“All of us our aging no matter what age we are at, to be clear,” said Murthy.

The Surgeon General said talking to parents about these concerns is critical. He has done so himself.

“The conversations we have had is how they can stay healthy and independent as they get older recognizing they want to be part of their children’s lives but they don’t want to be dependent on their kids for everything,” he said.

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Workaholics and Younger Adults Facing Higher Risk of Stroke

Kirk in wheelchairIn 2012 U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) suffered a stroke at age 52. Research is showing that younger people are now having strokes and TIA’s and the impact of such health events can create many issues for a victim’s family.

Planning for the physical, emotional and financial burdens that Long Term Health Care can have on your family is a key to your retirement plan.

Strokes are not limited to those who smoke or have uncontrolled high blood pressure. New research indicates those who work excessive overtime hours might be increasing the risk of stroke by as much as one-third.

People who worked 55 hours or more per week were 13% more likely to develop heart disease than those with more regular work weeks. A separate analysis of data from previous studies found that those who worked more than 55 hours a week were one-third more likely to suffer a stroke according to a story in HealthDay News.

While researchers couldn’t prove an exact cause for the increased stroke risk, they suggest physical inactivity, higher drinking rates and higher stress levels associated with workaholics may be to blame. One physician said he was “surprised” by the study’s results.
In 2012 U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) suffered a stroke at age 52. Kirk went through extensive rehab and is back to work in the Senate. While he has some physical limitations, he was very lucky that his intellect is still with him.

Experts suggest better balance of lifestyle, regular check-ups and good diet can help. Planning for Long Term Health Care is also suggested while a person’s health is still good. Generally experts suggest people look at Long Term Care Insurance as part of their overall retirement plan.

These policies are very affordable if purchased between 40 to 65. Many people younger than 40 may have other pressing needs to address. Those older than 65 will many times have health issues which could make them more difficult to obtain coverage. Seeking help from a Long Term Care specialist is desirable to find out if this coverage is appropriate for you.

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Call for Additional Tax Deduction for LTC Insurance

Additional tax deductions would make affordable Long Term Care Insurance even more affordable. A public policy group founder is calling for additional tax incentives to help consumers. Joseph Stango, founder of “Choice Centered Medicaid” is calling for additional tax benefits because the financial risk of LTC is high.

Joseph Stango, the founder of the public policy group “Choice Centered Medicaid” also known as “Dora’s Hope” has called for an above-the-line tax deduction for Long Term Care Insurance.

Choice Centered Medicaid (CCM) is a non-for-profit, grassroots movement created by Stango, an advocate for Medicaid reform. CCM says it strives to make Americans aware of the plight of millions of middle class seniors and disabled adults who are being forced into nursing homes in order to receive Long Term Health Care.

In an opinion piece published in the RepublicanAmerican newspaper in New Haven, Connecticut, Stango wrote, “America spends $725 billion a year caring for the chronically ill. Ironically, in a country that embraces the benefits of capitalism, private enterprise pays very little — less than 1 percent.”

He said the cost of Long Term Health Care is many times ignored by many Americans until they face it first-hand.

“It is a simple human trait to ignore the degenerative aging process. People believe the negative effects somehow will pass. Then, little by little, age erodes health. One day, we find ourselves needing help but having limited resources to pay for it,” he noted.

The cost of this care is very high. Individuals and their families carry a $63 billion burden, paid directly out of their pockets Stango says. He also explains that family caregiving costs an additional $450 billion for family leave, reduced working hours and lost jobs.

“With 70 percent of Americans needing Long Term Care after age 65, the costs and added pressure on individuals and their families will continue to grow,” he said.

The tax-payer gets involved as well, especially when people don’t plan. Tax-funded programs for veterans, and those supported by local and state governments, cost $10 billion a year; Medicare (health insurance for those 65 and older), $64 billion; and Medicaid (the medical welfare program), $130 billion.

Generally health insurance and Medicare pay very little for Long Term Health Care. They will pay for a limited amount of days of skilled care and only if a person is getting better. Most Long Term Health Care is custodial in nature and custodial care is not covered by any health insurance or Medicare. This means many people, without Long Term Care Insurance, pay out-of-pocket until they spend down a majority of assets. At that point Medicaid will pay for care in a nursing home.

Stango says if we are to lessen the burden for taxpayers and families, we need to change the ratio of cost-sharing by increasing the share of the private markets and reducing that of government agencies.

Doing so will provide greater choice to consumers, maintain a healthy middle class and reduce the burden on taxpayers.

To transfer this risk to insurance companies and away from individual families and the tax-payer, Stango suggests addition tax benefits to encourage more people to purchase Long Term Care Insurance.

“To increase the private-market share of the cost, we should provide tax incentives to consumers to pay for Long Term Care Insurance. This can be done by providing a dollar-for-dollar reduction in personal income taxes to those making less than $150,000 per year, and a tax deduction for those earning $150,000 to $250,000 per year. An alternative would be to offer tax-and penalty-free distributions from personal retirement accounts for the purchase of a policy,” he said.

Some tax incentives already exists. Benefits are always tax-free and businesses and self-employed can deduct premiums. In addition, some people could include premiums as a medical expense if they itemize.

Stango also calls for the federal government to mandate that all states provide equal access to a nursing home or home-based care services for those on Medicaid.

Long Term Care Insurance is generally purchased prior to a person’s retirement as part of an overall retirement plan. Premiums are very affordable for those in their 40’s and 50’s. With this additional tax incentive even more people would be able to make Long Term Care Insurance part of their retirement plan.

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The Right Dog: Outstanding Addition for 50+ Empty Nester or Older Adult

Many people are looking for “something” once the kids are out of the house and now you need a new face to look at. Perhaps your older mom and dad need something to keep them active. Having the right dog can be helpful, fun and good for your health and well-being.

Thinking about these issues are all part of planning for your future retirement. Part of that plan should also include affordable Long Term Care Insurance. Read the article and then make sure we review your options for affordable Long Term Care Insurance.

You will see how easy it is to plan for the physical, emotional and financial burdens that come with extended Long Term Health Care. Since health insurance and Medicare won’t pay for a majority of these costs, planning for LTC should be part of your retirement plan.
Maybe your children have graduated college and perhaps left home so now you are an empty nester. Perhaps your older mom and dad need some companionship. In either case the right dog can provide you with love and affection, companionship, good mental health and even exercise.
For older adults this becomes even more important as some people will start feel lonely as the rest of the family deals with their own busy lives. This is especially true if they have lost their partner or close friend.

Dogs can be a great companion for seniors as they give unconditional love and support and they give them something to do. Dogs can be especially helpful for seniors with dementia; studies have found that dogs slow the process by which seniors with dementia lose their memory because they keep them on a schedule and provide comfort when their owner is having a bad day or is distressed. This may limit the amount of supervision and other Long Term Care services they may require.

These canine companions are great for a number of reasons, one of the biggest being the amount of exercise people get when they own a dog. Not only do they play with them around the house, but dogs also need to be walked which is a great way to stay active.
These are some recommended dog breeds for those over 50; they can serve as therapy dogs, playmates, or “children.” They also can just be fun.

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Run the Numbers: LTC Should Be Part of Estate Planning Even for Wealthy

Outstanding article considering the risks of needing Long Term Care and the costs involved. With the chance you may need extended Long Term Health Care being so high, that cost can have a huge impact on an estate even if you have a fairly large estate . Top financial advisors suggest Long Term Care Insurance be part of plan even for wealthy as the numbers make sense.

The reason many people don’t plan is they think they will never need care. Not sure why they think they are special. Some people joke they will just die … others think they are too “healthy”. Both comments are naïve. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tells us if you reach the age of 65 you will have a 70% chance of requiring a Long Term Health Care service before you pass. If you are young and healthy … guess what … you will live a long life. Live a long life and you will have age related issues. Remember, people need Long Term Care due to illnesses, accidents or the impact of aging.

Here is part of the article and clink the link for the full article.

estate planning

By Ed McCarthy, CFP, RICP

The widely held belief that wealthy persons don’t need long-term care insurance because they can self-fund the cost may be correct regarding out-of-pocket care expenses but it overlooks the risk of potential estate shrinkage. “The amount of what’s left of your estate is going to be impacted if you and/or your spouse needed long-term care for any period of time and had to draw down your estate,” said William R. Borton, CLU with W.R. Borton in Marlton, NJ. “So, from a standpoint of long-term care planning, not only do you want to make sure you have all the [estate planning] documents in place, but you also want to make sure that you don’t end up with estate shrinkage if you don’t want it.”

Consider a simple example of LTC’s potential impact. The Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey reports that the current national median expense of a private nursing home room is $250 per day or $91,250 per year, an amount that’s been increasing by about 4 percent annually for the past five years. If the client is age 65 now and requires that level of care in 20 years, the first year’s cost will be about $200,000 (at 4 percent annual inflation). Assuming a four-year stay, the total outlay would exceed $850,000.

Run the Numbers

Of course, an objective analysis would also consider the impact of paying LTCI premiums should the client decide to purchase the insurance for ages 65 to 85. Sontag Advisory in New York City provides that type of analysis when it discusses LTC planning with wealthier clients. Kevin Couper, CFP, a financial advisor with the firm, said they run simulated scenarios to project the impact of buying and not buying LTCI.

“We can simulate that out and say, well, if you don’t have any insurance at all, here’s what happens to your portfolio, is that a significant deal?” said Couper. “Also, the big thing to notice is how their portfolio is structured. Do they have a lot of liquidity or is a lot of it non-liquid like in real estate so in the event of a long-term care situation would they have to liquidate some things?” To date, their high net worth clients have been comfortable with LTC’s potential impact on retirement cash flow and portfolios and have decided to self-insure the risk, he said.

Using Trusts

In cases where a wealthy client decides to purchase LTCI, buying and owning a life insurance policy with a LTC benefit through an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) can leverage the financial benefits, said Kim Natovitz, CLTC with the Natovitz Group in Bethesda, MD. The strategy works when the policy’s LTCI benefit is paid on an indemnity basis versus a reimbursement plan. The mechanics are somewhat complicated but essentially the insured funds the trust with irrevocable gifts. In turn, the trust applies for and owns the life policy on the insured.

If the insured incurs LTC expenses, he or she pays them out-of-pocket but the trust files for and receives the benefit payments. “The trustee can choose to file a claim and benefits are paid on an indemnity basis, which means that regardless of actual utilization, as long as that individual is receiving qualified long-term care services, then the trustee of the insurance policy can file a claim and long-term care benefits are paid into the trust at that point in time,” Natovitz said.

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Childless Boomers – Who Will Care for Them?

This is something I run into often so when I saw this article I just had to share. The question is: “Who Will Provide Care for Childless Boomers?”

Many will grow old without family to look after them. With advances in medical science allowing us to live longer and longer issues for these boomers like POA’s and Long Term Care must be addressed. Many times these couples feel they don’t need any planning. This is just not the case. While they may not be concerned about leaving an inheritance or being a burden on children that don’t exist there are questions about quality care, case management and the protection of lifestyle of the other spouse. Plus, the financial issues that may come about if one person needs care and exhausts a large portion of assets leaving little for the other.

Here is part of the article and click the link to see the full article. Then contact me to discover how affordable Long Term Care Insurance can be and make it part of your retirement plan!

Senior man giving woman piggyback ride through autumn woods
By Denise Foley

The last piece of real estate Pam and Bruce Boyer purchased together was more than 20 years ago: adjoining plots in the cemetery across the street from their home in historic Bethlehem, Pa.

“We chose a place we really like. We walk there – it’s like a park in London,” says Pam Boyer, 68, a retired magazine researcher whose husband is a freelance writer. “We got it taken care of early before it seemed morbid – or too homey,” she adds with a laugh.

‘Elder Orphans’

It wasn’t the only accommodation the Boyers made to the fact that they are childless, a circumstance an estimated one in five boomers find themselves in as they age.

One study predicts that about a quarter of boomers may become “elder orphans.” That’s a newly coined term for people who reach old age with no family or friends left, like the 81-year-old North Carolina man who made the news in May when he called 911 for food because he had no one else to turn to.

Fewer Caregivers

Family members provide about 70% of long-term care services, according to a survey by the American College of Financial Services. Not only are more boomers childless, those who do have children have fewer than the previous generation. Trendsetters from the start, the boomers have spawned a new phenomenon: caregiver shortage.

As of 2010, there were more than seven family caregivers for every person 80 and over. By 2030, estimates say, there will only be four and by 2050 there will be fewer than three.

That raises the question: Who will take care of the childless boomers when they’re old?

Avoiding the Serious Questions

What alarms many experts is that it’s not the boomers who are asking that question.

“I’d say of every four people I meet, three have not made any decisions at all about their health care when they age,” says Bert Rahl, a licensed social worker and director of mental health services at the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging in Cleveland, Ohio.

Understanding the Truth

The Boyers chose to be proactive. What made it easier: In light of their circumstances, they’d given it a lot of thought.

They knew when they married more than 30 years ago that they were never going to have children. Pam Boyer is an only child who cared for her grandmother and both her parents — her father had Parkinson’s disease, her mother, Alzheimer’s — in their later years.

“We’re not a healthy family,” she says ruefully.

And neither of them was squeamish about talking about death — even their own.

Take Charge of Your Life

So not only did the Boyers pre-plan their burial, they downloaded documents from the Internet that allowed them to create an advanced directive (a living will that spells out your wishes for end-of-life care) as well as durable power of attorney (POA) so a trusted friend could handle both health care and financial decisions for them when they couldn’t.

(Unlike an ordinary POA, a durable POA stays in effect if you’re incapacitated. The medical version of the POA is called a durable POA for health care.)

They also bought long-term care insurance to help cover expenses if they develop chronic illnesses that require treatment over a long period of time. They offer the couple peace of mind that a catastrophic illness won’t bankrupt them.

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