NBC Today Show: How to Pay for Long Term Care

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Jean Chatzky, the financial editor for NBC’s “Today Show” appeared with Matt Lauer to discuss the need for consumers to plan in advance for the high costs of Long Term Care. This has been a big media topic as so many people require extended health care due to illness, accidents or the impact of aging. Matt Lauer pointed out that medical costs, especially unexpected ones, can add up. He says most people want to have a healthy retirement but there’s a big wild card a consumer need to be prepared for … health care expenses.

“A 65-year-old couple will need an estimated $260,000 to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses through retirement — and that doesn’t include Long Term Care, according to Fidelity Investments. If you want to have a healthy retirement, there’s a big wild card you need to be prepared for health care expenses.” Lauer said.

Lauer pointed out these costs do not pay for Long Term Care something he reported that 7 in 10 people will need at some point.

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“Long Term Care will cost anywhere from $44,000 to $96,000 a year depending on the type of care you require but you need a plan to pay for that,” said Chatzky.

Traditional Long Term Care Insurance will pay for any type of care, at home or in a facility. Chatzky reports the rate for a 60-year-old couple in normal health is about $2,100 a year for a mid-range policy according to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). The AALTCI is a national advocacy group to educate Americans on Long Term Care Planning.

Premiums on these policies may be tax deductible. The AALTCI also says most states offer partnership policies which provide additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection.

If you’ve been saving for years and are looking to leave something to your kids, this is a way to make sure that all of your money doesn’t go to pay for health care according to Chatzky.

Hybrid policies also exist. These are Life Insurance Policies or Annuities with a Long Term Care benefit. They allow a consumer to tap into your benefit — reducing the death benefit —if you need Long Term Care. If not you have a death benefit or the cash value of the annuity. While the Today Show reported that these plans do not have inflation options, the better insurance companies do have inflation options. Experts suggest speaking with a specialist who can explain the options available.

Lauer asked Chatzky when the best time to start shopping for Long Term Care Solutions. “You want to start shopping at about age 50 and you want to ramp up your shopping very quickly,” she explained. She explained premiums after age 60 are higher but health conditions start to set in which could make premiums high or make a person uninsurable.

“You want an “A” rated insurer and shop around (the top companies),” she said. She also recommends working with a specialist in Long Term Care and not to wait too long.

See full article on LTC Planning News: http://longtermcareplanningnews.com/articles/nbc-today-show-how-to-pay-for-long-term-care

Matt at Hyatt DC (2)

Remember premiums are based not only on the benefits you purchase but also based on the application age you get the policy and your health at the time of application. People work with me nationwide. As one of the country’s leading specialists in Long Term Care Planning I help people safeguard future retirement income and assets from the high costs and burdens of extended care.

Most people want quality caregivers and lessen the burdens place on family … especially daughters and daughters-in-law who many times become the default caregiver. The so-called “Sandwich Generation” is a daughter or daughter-in-law who is trying to be a wife, mother and have a career all while attempting to be a full or part-time caregiver. It doesn’t work.

See how affordable LTC insurance will ease the burden and protect assets. As the NBC report suggests, plan early when premiums are very affordable and your health is better. For Generation X (GenX) or Boomers this is a key part of successful retirement planning.

Learn more: www.mccannltc.net – Get free quotes from all the top companies: www.quoteonltc.com

There are a number of online resources to learn more about Long Term Care Planning:

LTC Planning News: includes news stories on health and Long Term Care Planning. It also has videos and website links as well: www.longtermcareplanningnews.com.

US Department of Health and Human Services LTC site: http://longtermcare.gov.

The National Institute on Aging: https://nihseniorhealth.gov/

 

 

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2017 Long Term Care Insurance Guide Available

Get your 2017 Long Term Care Insurance Consumer Guide … emailed to you FREE. Learn the basics of how affordable LTC insurance can safeguard your future retirement income and assets like your 401k IRA and other savings … while at the same time easing the burden placed on family. EMAIL your request with the subject line GUIDE: matt@mccannltc.net
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Make 2017 the year you add peace-of-mind to your retirement plan with affordable LTC insurance. The financial costs and burdens of aging will impact your family. An advance plan will protect savings and add peace-of-mind. Act before you retire.
If you’re a Generation X, Late Boomer or Boomer planning now is essential.
 
 
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Unpaid Caregivers Impacts Quality of Long Term Care – Creates Burden on Family Caregiver

Too many caregivers providing help for a person requiring Long Term Health Care are not qualified to provide that help. Many of these caregivers are unpaid family members. This creates additional burden on the caregiver as it impacts their lifestyle and family, finances and health.

Helping a person with their medications can be hard. Sometimes an untrained caregiver will mix up medications which can cause major health issues. Mixing up pills are hard on those trained to provide such services much less a person who is not trained. The AARP says more than three-quarters of caregivers help loved ones to fill and manage medications that often require juggling varying dosages for pills that can appear identical. Many untrained caregivers are a family member, often a daughter or daughter-in-law. For them it is harder as they are part of the sandwich generation. This means they have a spouse, children, a job and the job of a caregiver for a parent or other family member. In other words, they are mentally and physically drained as they juggle work, family, career and caregiving.

There are an estimated 43.5 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S., many taking care of older adults with multiple chronic conditions. Traditionally, caregiving involved helping a person with basic daily activities. But the work has grown more demanding. They perform routine nursing work such as draining catheters. Caregivers also help loved ones navigate the healthcare system.

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The skills required to help a person bath and perform other activities of daily living requires skill so the person doesn’t hurt themselves or the person they are trying to help. Many family members are not prepared for this work. This creates a huge burden on everyone. An recent article in Modern Healthcare says the economic value of caregiving, which ranges from short-term post-acute assistance to long-term care, was estimated at $470 billion in 2013. In 2011, the Congressional Budget Office estimated, family members provided 55% of the value of long-term elderly care services, or $234 billion a year.

“Despite the value of their work, these unpaid caregivers often lack the skills and support needed to properly care for their loved ones. And as the medical complexity of patient cases escalates, so do concerns about safety,” wrote Elizabeth Whitman in her this article.

An answer for many is to plan before any caregiving is required. First understand the risk of needing Long Term Care is high. As medical science gets better we live longer. The financial costs and burdens of aging will impact your savings and create physical, emotional and financial burdens on loved ones. Affordable Long Term Care Insurance will provide the resources for quality caregivers and reduce the burden placed on family.

Experts say the best time to plan is well before retirement. As you are saving money in your 401k and IRA finding a way to protect the money and have a plan to reduce family burden is perhaps common sense … but main fail to plan until it is too late.

The US Department of Health and Human Services says 7 in 10 people who reach the age of 65 will require some type of Long Term Care service before they die. The fact is it can and may happen to you. A plan to address this risk should be part of your overall retirement planning.

Discover how easy it is to learn about and get quotes for Long Term Care Insurance. It is easy and affordable and can be designed to fit your needs. Many states offer additional partnership benefits which provide additional asset protection. Many LTC plans will also pay for caregiver training so if you want to have a part-time family caregiver they will be trained to do it correctly.

Get more information now: www.mccannltc.net Get free quotes for LTC plans: www.quoteonltc.com

See the full article in LTC Planning News: http://longtermcareplanningnews.com/articles/unpaid-caregivers-impact-quality-of-long-term-care

 

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Caregiving Growing Burden on Women in Mid-Career

Professional managers in a successful companyLife expectancy is usually considered a good thing. However, as longevity increases, the need for elder care continues to grow. Without advance planning the caregiving usually falls on the lap of a woman. This places a huge additional burden on women who are also in the workforce, have a spouse and children all at the same time. Many of these women are forced to cut back on working or leave the workforce entirely to be a full or part-time caregiver.

A new study, “Women Working Longer: Labor Market Implications of Providing Family Care,” by Sean Fahle, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University at Buffalo’s College of Arts and Sciences, and Kathleen McGarry, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, found women caregivers were 8 percent less likely to work, and that after providing care, were 4 percent less likely to be working. The study was presented at the Women Working Longer Conference hosted by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The study found that caregiving is increasing, meaning more current generations of women are more likely to provide care than women before them.

“Millions of people are providing care for their parents or parents-in-law,” Fahle said.

Fahle and McGarry used data from the Health and Retirement Study from the University of Michigan, which has been tracking participants for more than 20 years. The data used in the study from 9,498 people showed that about one-third of the women had provided care for an elderly parent, parent-in-law or spouse.

This Long Term Care involves helping a person with what are referred to as “ADL’s”- Activities of Daily Living. These activities such as eating, bathing or dressing. Caregiving for a parent peaks around age 56, while caregiving for a spouse does not become widespread until the late-60s.

With the aging American population, demand for care will increase, Fahle said. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services say if a person reaches the age of 65 they will have a 70% chance of needing some type of Long Term Health Care service. Estimates suggest 20 percent of these people will need help for five years or more. And most of this help will come from wives and daughters unless those people what Long Term Care insurance or substantial assets.

Health insurance and Medicare (health insurance for those 65 and older) will only pay for a small amount of skilled care and only if a person is improving. Most extended care is custodial (help with ADL’s or supervision due to memory) and health insurance and Medicare will not pay for those costs. Medicaid, the medical welfare program, will pay for custodial care but only if you are poor or go through the Medicaid spend-down of assets. Long Term Care insurance will pay for extended health care but too few people start shopping for a policy until they are older and less healthy … which is usually too late.

“People are living longer, Alzheimer’s is projected to increase, and meanwhile family sizes are shrinking, so the burden of caregiving is falling on fewer children,” Fahle noted. “Scenarios look somewhat gloomy in many ways going forward.”

Other studies by insurance companies also show dramatic economic losses. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported this year that 10 percent of caregivers cut back on hours worked because of the demands of caregiving while an estimated 6 percent left paid work entirely. Seventeen percent of caregivers take a leave of absence, and 4 percent reportedly turn down promotions.

Figures from a survey by Genworth Financial (which sells Long Term Care insurance) were even starker: 11 percent of caregivers lost their jobs due to caregiving, and 52 percent had to reduce work hours by an average of 7 hours per week, the study cited.

Many experts suggest Long Term Care insurance not only safeguards retirement income and assets but eases the burden on these women who often, by default, become caregivers.

The economic value of the care given by family members is astounding. A 2011 study by Reinhard L. Feinberg, A. Houser, and R. Choula, for the AARP Public Policy Institute, estimated the value of informal care in 2009 exceeded $450 billion, more than twice the estimated value of formal care.

The growing number of women giving care to their elders should lead to people planning for extended care options which benefit both the person who requires care and the family members who without an advance plan become default caregivers.

Here are some outstanding resources to learn more about LTC Planning and Long Term Care Insurance:

LTC Planning News: includes news stories on health and Long Term Care Planning. It also has videos and website links which I use often: http://www.longtermcareplanningnews.com.

US Department of Health and Human Services LTC site: http://longtermcare.gov.

The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) Consumer and Industry Advocacy Group: solid information: www.aaltci.org

See this article in full: http://longtermcareplanningnews.com/articles/caregiving-growing-burden-on-women-in-mid-career

Get free quotes on affordable Long Term Care Insurance and address the financial costs and burdens of aging: www.quoteonltc.com

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Holiday Season a Time to Pay Attention to Aging and Health Issues

The holiday season brings families together. This gives family members an opportunity to see how aging relatives are doing since many times we don’t get to see them as often as we like. You can watch the older family member interact in their environment and see if they have lost independence.  

home-for-the-holidaysThe issue, however, is more than just about the aging parent, grandparent or an aunt and uncle. It is a good time to think about how you have planned … or not planned … about aging and the extended health costs which will impact assets and create a burden on your loved ones.  

With multiple generations of family getting together, the holidays provide a good time to carve out a number of these concerns. First, with aging relatives, you need to spot changes in older family members that may indicate a greater need for attention and Long Term Health Care. This is the crisis planning that needs to be addressed hopefully prior to an actual crisis. 

Many experts say it’s not unusual to spot personality or behavior changes that go unnoticed by those who see your loved one on a regular basis. It is important to speak-up about these issues with other family members.  

Some of the items to look for include: 

•Forgetfulness  

•Confusion 

•Neglect of physical appearance or basic hygiene  

•Neglect of normal medical needs  

•Trouble performing routine household tasks and activities  

•Personality changes  

•Wobbliness, clumsiness or history of falls  

•Lack or delayed response to sudden sounds or loud noises  

•Wearing inappropriate clothing  

•Difficulty answering simple questions  

•Repeating the same story over and over again  

If you observe these issues the family should discover how advanced the problem may be, does it have an immediate impact on health and well-being and are the financial issues being addressed.  

“Your estate or elder law attorney will help prepare key documents such as powers of attorneys and healthcare directives. A good estate lawyer can also help the family feel confident that they are making the best possible decisions for future financial security and peace of mind during an otherwise challenging time,” said Kristina R. Hess, a San Diego estate planning attorney.  

Family members should see if the loved one has Long Term Care Insurance, a will and power-of-attorney and other documents which will protect them and the family. 

The next question to ask is how have you planned any differently from how your loved one has planned. 

“As Americans live longer lives, it is more vital than ever for families to address vital issues including Long Term Care planning,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).  

The AALTCI is a national consumer advocacy and trade organization. They established November as Long Term Care Awareness Month in 2001 with the goal of encouraging discussions between generations.  

“Even a few minutes to cover some key issues can avoid years of family stress and angst,” Slome notes.  

The Association’s studies have found that too few families discuss the issue prior to the time when an actual need for care arises.  

Long Term Care Insurance has become an important part of retirement planning. Over 8 million people have active policies in place but many times family members and friends have no clue.  

“I often refer to it as the ‘silent purchase’ because few aging parents tell their adult child they have this protection in place,” Slome said.  

It may be too late for an older family member to purchase a Long Term Care policy since health underwriting and age may prevent them from obtaining coverage. This is a major reason why the purchase of Long Term Care Insurance is something people do in their 40’s and 50’s when premiums are much lower and health is generally better.  

“People today understand the physical, emotional and financial burdens that Long Term Health Care can have on family. Most of the people I speak with are ages 45 to 60 and have lived through an extended care event of a parent, grand-parent, friend, neighbor even a co-worker. So many people have some personal experience they know they must address the issue prior to retiring, said Matt McCann, a leading specialist in Long Term Care Planning.  

There are a number of resources for consumers to help them educate themselves on Long Term Care planning.  

The US Department of Health and Human Services has a website devoted to this issue: http://longtermcare.gov/

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has a full section on their website to Long Term Care: http://naic.org/index_ltc_section.htm

The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance site and outstanding consumer information: www.aaltci.org

LTC Planning News offers articles, links, videos and other resources: www.longtermcareplanningnews.com

U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. says the issue of aging is a very important public issue. “All of us are aging no matter what age we are at, to be clear,” said Murthy. The Surgeon General said he has had a conversation with his own parents about aging and their future needs.  

“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.  

The consequences of aging impact you and your family. A retirement plan which includes Long Term Care Insurance can safeguard your future retirement income and assets and ease the burden on your family members down the road. Make this holiday season a time to discuss these issues and make plans for yourself and your family so crisis management can be averted.

 

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Top States for Long Term Care Planning

The nation’s leading consumer advocacy group for Long Term Care (LTC) planning announced the top 10 states of sales of individual LTC insurance in 2016. The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) published the list in an announcement made this week.stamp long term care insurance in red

 

The demand for Long Term Care Planning has increased dramatically in recent years as many parents of Generation X and Late Boomers started facing eldercare issues. While many people require Long Term Care before they are 65, this is a major aging issue and the consequences of a care event can be devastating on one’s savings and income while creating a burden on the person’s family.

 

“We will end the year with some seven million Americans who have traditional Long Term Care Insurance protection and another million who have a linked-benefit product that provides some LTC protection,” explained Jesse Slome, executive director of the AALTCI. The organization maintains the nation’s leading online resource for information pertaining to Long Term Care Insurance and annually helps tens of thousands of consumers seeking information on the topic.

 

The top-10 states ranked by the number of policyholders are:

 

California

 

Texas

 

New York

 

Florida

 

Illinois

 

Pennsylvania

 

Ohio

 

Virginia

 

Washington

 

Minnesota

 

Most LTC insurance policies offer benefits for both care in one’s own home as well as adult daycare, assisted living, rehab, memory care and nursing home care. Most LTC specialists say both consumers and policyholders at the time of claim prefer home-care if at all possible.

 

“The vast majority of individuals who purchase Long Term Care Insurance protection want the ability to receive care in their own home and this protection makes that possible,” said Slome.

 

 

Many consumers obtain partnership plans which provide additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection. The New York State Partnership for Long Term Care publishes an online list of states which have partnership LTC plans available and the states which offer reciprocity in the event a consumer were to move to another state. Illinois is the most recent state to adopt the federal/state partnership program which went into effect when President George W. Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.

 

Here is the link from the New York State: http://www.nyspltc.org/reciprocitymap.htm

 

Consumers have a number of affordable options available today. In additional to traditional plans, linked or so-called “hybrid” policies provide death benefits. Many are single premium plans however some can be paid on an annual basis as well. Short-term plans are also available which in many situations easier to qualify for and offer affordable benefits for a wider age range.

 

“Insurance agents are selling more short-term care insurance to seniors to fill gaps in Medicare and as a Long Term Care planning alternative when cost, age or health is an issue,” Slome explained.

 

While most experts agree that LTC planning should happen well before retirement, options are available to those who may have waited too long or were turned down for coverage from a traditional plan.

 

Slome says consumers seeking information on Long Term Care Insurance costs and planning options should do so from a designated specialist, a member of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance. Slome says to work with LTC specialists that can prove they’ve helped at least 100 consumers get a good deal on Long Term Care insurance.

 

“There are agents who have insured 250 to 500 individuals or more over many years,” Slome adds. “A good broker specialist will be appointed to compare policies from at least four or five companies. ‘Appointed’ means they can actually sell the particular policy, because it’s rare one will favor coverage from a company they cannot sell to you.”

Learn more about all these options at www.mccannltc.netLTC Planning News: http://longtermcareplanningnews.com/ See this article in full: http://longtermcareplanningnews.com/articles/top-states-for-long-term-care-planning

Get free quotes on all types of available plans: www.quoteonltc.com

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It’s a Wonderful Life …

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#itsawonderfullife

It is a wonderful life when you know you won’t burden your family from the consequences of Long Term Care. Affordable LTC insurance will safeguard your future retirement income & savings and ease the burdens that are placed on your family. This holiday season give peace-of-mind to yourself and your loved ones before you retire.

The holidays are a great time to start a plan … before you retire … to provide peace-of-mind and retirement security from the high costs and burdens of extended care. You know health insurance and Medicare won’t pay for a majority of these costs. The financial costs and burdens of aging will impact not only your 401k, IRA 403B and retirement income but will also place a big burden on those you love. It just makes sense to add LTC insurance to your plan. Very easy to do and very affordable. But don’t wait for an angel in training to come down to convince you … act before you retire and enjoy good health discounts. Plus, premiums are based on the AGE you are when you get a plan in plan. Lock in your savings and lock in peace-of-mind.

Act now: www.mccannltc.net

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