Feb 23

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me, When I’m Sixty-Four

The American senior population has exploded as baby boomers turn 65. According to the US census report released in May of 2014, the aging population will almost double in size from the 2012 level of 43.1 million to 83.7 million by 2050. Among the millions, will be many that will need long term care. Who will supply that care if you should need it?

What care might you need? Did you rise out of bed this morning, hurry to the bathroom? Did you shower and dress? Did you feed yourself? These are the “acts of daily living” that we do every day without thinking about them. Insurance companies define acts of daily living as transferring, toileting, continence, bathing, dressing and eating. When you are unable to perform two of these activities, you may qualify for long term care.

I often joke as a mother of four, one of my children will take care of me. Hopefully, this will be the case. I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and arthritis and I do not qualify for a long term care insurance.

I am an insurance agent who sells long term care insurance. Sadly, I have received calls inquiring about policy for a parent who has had a stroke or some other health issue that requires 24 hour care. Unfortunately, when you need long term care you don’t qualify for a long term care policy. So prepare! Explore your options.

Medicare and Medicaid, “government entitlement programs”, will pay for your medical care but they are not designed for long term care. However, Medicaid will pay for a nursing home, if your assets are not more than $2,000.

Here is a brief list of other options you may explore:

* A traditional long term care policy

* A universal life policy with a long term care rider

*A reverse mortgage

*Self insuring

What kind of care would you like? Do you want to be cared for in your home, an assisted living facility or a nursing home? Tour nursing homes and assisted living facilities in your area. The costs may surprise you. Investigate the cost of a home health aide or a sitter that can prepare meals and clean your home. Use these facts to estimate the $s needed to keep you in the style you are accustomed to.

Keep your golden years golden for you and your family and friends. That old adage, “Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail” rings true in this situation. Hopefully, we will live out the last years of our life in good health and conclude it with a peaceful death our own beds. But if not, you have a plan.

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