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 …

its-a-wonderful-life

#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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FARMERS NEED TO PROTECT LAND & LEGACY FROM LTC

Rural Ohio RoadThe financial costs and burdens of aging impact all Americans. However, the impact on rural America (farmers and ranchers) can be devastating since much of a farmer’s estate is tied up in the value of land. Many people wish to leave their land and other personal property, cash and investments to their heirs. The desire is to keep it in the family. To protect the heirs’ inheritance from potentially devastating costs of Long Term Health Care an affordable plan must be in place prior to retirement or change in health.

The University of Nebraska Center of Rural Affairs says Long Term Care for America’s aging population is an important consideration in estate and business transition planning. Many have become increasingly aware how easily the cost of Long Term Care can wipe out a lifetime of savings or hamper the transfer of a family farm, ranch or business to future generations.

What is the risk of needing some type of extended health care? High. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says if you reach the age of 65 you have a 70% chance of needing some type of Long Term Care service before you die. With advances in medical science we live longer, we survive health events and accidents. This all leads to more aging issues in addition to many health events which cause the need for help with activities of daily living or supervision due to memory problems.

Part of any responsible retirement and legacy plan is to provide for the financial costs and burdens that Long Term Care places on loved ones. Long term Care Insurance is an affordable way to ease the burden and help preserve the farm or range for generations to come.

“I hear from farm families from all over the country. This is a key concern. The costs of care can create liquidation of assets. Too many farmers have seen this happen to fellow farmers and they want to make sure the land stays in the family. For many, Long Term Care insurance will protect their farm and other assets and plans are very affordable if they plan early when their health is better,” said Matt McCann a nationally recognized expert in Long Term Care Planning.

One of the biggest threats to a family legacy is catastrophic end-of-life costs. Cost of care can vary depending where in the country a person lives. Most Long Term Care is not in nursing homes although nursing homes are the most expensive. LTC policies will pay for care in all settings including one’s own home.

For example, in Iowa an average skilled nursing home will run about $6100 a month according to the annual Genworth Financial survey. Monthly care at home averages about $4300 a month with assisted living facilities running around $3600. However, costs in Ohio will be more. A Long Term Care specialist can discuss the cost of care in your area.

The issue of burden on family is another consideration. Without Long Term Care insurance, a spouse or daughter may become the primary caregiver, at least at first. Spouses who are the default primary caregiver for a partner often see a decline in their own health. Daughters or daughters-in-law have their own families and responsibilities. In some cases, they may not even live close by.

Since health insurance and Medicare (including Medicare supplements) will pay only for a very small amount of skilled care and only if you are improving, much of the cost of Long Term Care is placed on you.

There are three types of LTC plans available. Traditional tax-qualified plans provide a monthly or daily benefit once you qualify for benefits. Generally, you start with a pool of money and both the monthly benefit and benefit pool are subject to inflation increases in those benefits. In many states you have additional “partnership” benefits which provide dollar-for-dollar asset protection in the event you spend through your LTC policy money.

Hybrid plans are also available. These are usually single premium life insurance policies or annuities with a rider for Long Term Care. Be careful, some of them are just an advance of death benefit or will only provide benefits for critical illness not traditional Long Term Care. A LTC specialist can discuss the differences.

Short-Term plans are also available. These provide a year of extended care. While not a complete solution, for some people with health issues this might be an appropriate option.

“One of the features that makes these products extremely attractive is the ability to select a 0-day Elimination Period (EP),” said Jesse Slome, executive director for the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). “Most traditional LTC insurance policies require that a doctor certify a need for care lasting longer than 90 days and have a 90-day wait period for benefits. With a 0-day EP period the policyholder accesses policy benefits early on when they need care.”

The assets you have accumulated throughout your working life including your land you own your farm will go to one of two purposes, your lifestyle or your legacy. It’s up to you to decide how much is dedicated to each purpose. You are in control. The one thing that will get in the way is extended healthcare. The time to safeguard your property and assets should happen well ahead of your retirement. The peace-of-mind it will create is priceless.

(from LTC Planning News, see article: http://longtermcareplanningnews.com/articles/farmers-need-to-protect-land-legacy-from-long-term-care

Discover how easy it is to plan: www.mccannltc.net

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Tax Advantages Available for Long Term Care Insurance

ltc-tax-treatmentYes, it is not too early to be talking about taxes. Year-end actions can save you money and benefit you in the long run. One of the things some people forget about is Long Term Care Insurance. Yes, many people are looking into LTC insurance as a way to safeguard their 401k, IRA and other savings from the high costs and burdens of extended care. But did you know many people can have a tax advantage for doing so?

Tax-qualified LTC insurance premiums are considered medical expenses. For an individual who itemizes income tax deductions, medical expenses are deductible to the extent that they exceed 10% of the individual’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). (For individuals age 65 or older, the threshold remains at 7.5% for tax years 2013-2016). The amount of the LTC insurance premium treated as a medical expense is limited to the eligible LTC insurance premiums, as defined by Internal Revenue Code1 section 213(d)(10), based on the age of the insured individual. The portion of the LTC insurance premium that exceeds the eligible LTC insurance premiums is not includable as a medical expense.

The IRS publishes a chart which lists the amount you may deduct for each tax year.

A self-employed individual can deduct 100% of his/her out-of-pocket LTC insurance premiums, up to the age-based Eligible Premium amounts listed in Table 1. [IRC 162(l)(2)(c)] The portion of LTC insurance premiums that exceeds the Eligible Premium amount is not deductible as a medical expense. The deductible amount includes eligible premiums paid for spouses and dependents [IRC 162(l)]. It is not necessary to meet a 10% AGI threshold in order to take a deduction.

However, a self-employed individual may not deduct LTC insurance premiums during any calendar month in which he/she or his/her spouse is eligible to participate in a subsidized LTC insurance plan. A subsidized LTC insurance plan entails an employer paying part or all of the premiums for LTC insurance.

Partners of a partnership, members of an LLC that is taxed as a partnership, and shareholders/employees of Subchapter S Corporations who own more than 2% of the Corporation2 are taxed as self-employed individuals. The partnership, LLC, or Subchapter S Corporation pays the premium.

The partner, member, or shareholder/employee must include the LTC insurance premium paid on his/her benefit in his/her Adjusted Gross Income, but may deduct up to 100% of the age-based Eligible Premium amount. It is not necessary to meet a 10% AGI threshold in order to take this deduction.

When a C Corporation purchases a tax-qualified LTC insurance policy on behalf of any of its employees, and their spouses or dependents, the corporation is entitled to take a 100% deduction as a business expense on the total premiums paid.4 The deduction is not limited to the age-based Eligible Premium amounts. The purchase of a tax-qualified LTC insurance policy is generally not subject to any IRC nondiscrimination rules. Therefore, an employer can be selective in the classification of employees it elects to cover (e.g., a select group of officers). However, due to the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), certain policies may be subject to the nondiscrimination rules under the IRC 105(h).

You should consult with your tax and/or benefits advisors to ensure compliance with any applicable nondiscrimination rules.

The entire LTC insurance premium amount paid by the corporation is excluded from the employee’s Adjusted Gross Income, even if the premium exceeds the Eligible Premium amount. This exclusion applies to shareholders/employees (as long as they are treated as employees) in a Subchapter C Corporation and to shareholders/employees who own 2% or less of a Subchapter S Corporation.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

Tax-qualified LTC insurance premiums can be reimbursed through an HSA, tax-free, up to the Eligible Premium amounts even if the HSA is offered through an employer provided cafeteria plan.

Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)

Reimbursements for insurance covering medical care expenses, as defined in IRC Sec. 213(d), which includes qualified long-term care services and qualified LTC insurance premiums, are allowable under an HRA. Although employers pay for HRAs, an HRA cannot be provided by salary reduction or IRC Sec. 125 plans. As such, the LTC insurance premiums cannot be paid on a pretax basis through an HRA.

Cafeteria Plan

Tax-qualified LTC insurance policies cannot be purchased with pre-tax dollars under an employer-provided cafeteria plan. However, LTC insurance premiums may be paid through an HSA that is offered under an employer-provided cafeteria plan.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Tax-qualified LTC insurance premiums cannot be reimbursed through an FSA.

This is the 2017 IRS tax deductible amounts:

https://mattmc0916.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/irs-announces-2017-tax-deduction-schedule-for-ltc-insurance/

Hint: If you are eligible to take a tax deduction for this year, pay the full premium with the application in 2016 even if the policy would go into effect in 2017.

You should safeguard your future retirement income and assets from the high cost of extended care … tax deductible or not. But if Uncle Sam helps … take advantage. Many states offer state incentives as well.

The financial costs and burdens of aging will impact your loved ones and impact your savings. Planning before retirement is smart and perhaps tax advantaged as well. If you are Generation X or a Boomer this should be on your radar screen.

Discover how affordable LTC insurance can be: http://www.mccannltc.net

 

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NHL Star Bryan Bickell Diagnosed with MS

bryan-bickell-pic

A NHL star and member of the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The 30-year-old Bryan Bickell, who now plays for the NHL Carolina Hurricanes, had health issues going back to his time with the Blackhawks. The Hurricanes announced his MS diagnosis on November 11, 2016 shocking players and fans.

See Chicago Tribune story click here

See LTC Planning News article click here

Multiple sclerosis is a rare disease that affects the central nervous system, with symptoms varying from case to case but eventually leading to nerve damage and physical impairment. There is no known cure. Many people with MS end up requiring help with normal activities of daily living (ADL’s) and requiring them to need extended care with those ADL’s.

MS is a “spectrum disease” that can present mild to disabling symptoms in different patients. Life expectancy is near normal, however the impact on independence generally is the biggest concern.

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) tend to have their first symptoms between the ages of 20 and 40. Usually the symptoms get better, but then come back. Some may come and go, while others linger.

Mobility issues end up being the main reason people with MS need Long Term Care. MS can cause muscle weakness or spasms, which make it more difficult to walk. Balance problems, numb feet, and fatigue can also make walking more difficult. Often people with MS may suffer from falls especially as they get older and the MS progresses.

The cost of the custodial care for a person with MS can be high. As it progresses a person may need homecare in addition to any care a family member may provide. As a person ages, it becomes very difficult for family members to be caregivers. Generally, a person will move into a facility like assisted living or, in extreme situations, a nursing home. Health insurance and later, once a person is 65, Medicare, will not pay for most these costs.

The financial costs and burdens placed on family can negatively impact a family. The consequences of a Long Term Care event, caused by MS, other diseases, accidents or just aging impact a family’s assets and income in addition to create emotional and physical burdens on those you love.

Since these health events can happen at any age having a plan which includes Long Term Care Insurance is an affordable way to safeguard your 401k, IRA and other savings while easing the burden on family.

Most people are not professional athletes who have substantial savings and investments. However, even those who do could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars unless a plan is in place.

Learn now how you have plan in advance for the costs of extended Long Term Care with affordable LTC insurance: www.quoteonltc.com or www.mccannltc.net

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