When it’s time for you to get long-term care insurance, who do you turn to? Having a long-term care insurance plan is a solution worth looking into for women when planning out their finances for their future, especially if their significant other is older. It is important to know what type of coverage to look for, and hiring a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ can works wonders in ensuring that you get the most for your money. Here is some advice to help.
- learn what long-term care insurance covers
- talk to a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional about long-term care insurance
- check if your employer has a long-term care insurance group plan that is portable
- know you will have a greater feeling of independence and financial freedom after purchasing coverage
- communicate your decision with loved ones
A long-term care insurance policy covers expenses associated with custodial care. Most long-term care is custodial care and not skilled care. Individuals who need custodial care are unable to perform “Activities of Daily Living” such as bathing, bowel and bladder management, dressing, eating, feeding, mobility, and personal hygiene. A long-term care insurance policy can also cover supervision from cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s and dementia that might require 24 hour care.
 Custodial care is non-medical care that helps individuals with his/her activities of daily living.
 Skilled care is generally from a licensed nursing personnel or certified nursing assistant.
A CFP® professional has been educated to review your entire financial picture holistically, including risk management. Having insurance in place is an important part of your financial plan to prevent your net worth from being depleted from an unforeseen event. Almost 70% of people turning age 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives. A long-term care insurance policy can help protect your net worth so that you have enough assets to provide for you during your lifetime.
Your employer provided benefits package may include a group long-term care insurance plan. A group plan may not have as many bells and whistles as an individual policy, but some basic coverage is better than nothing, and it may be more affordable. If you do have a group plan available, also check if it’s portable so if you leave your employer or retire, you can take your policy with you.
Do know you will have a greater feeling of independence and financial freedom after purchasing coverage
Having a long-term care insurance policy can help protect your existing assets, therefore giving you a greater feeling of independence. Knowing that you are protected should you need care may help ease the worry of having to depend on family members to provide care or financial support. Having a policy also helps prevent depleting your estate if you would like to leave assets to loved ones when you pass.
Do communicate your decision to purchase a long-term care insurance policy to loved ones. Inform them of the location of the policy, the agent’s contact information, and important policy details. Share with them your wishes such as if you would like to stay in your home as long as possible, or what care facility you feel would be most comfortable for you.
If you wait too long to purchase a long-term care insurance policy you may limit your options. Within the last few years several long-term care insurance carriers no longer offer new policies. The available plan options may also change or be eliminated altogether. As you get older, your insurability declines, premiums may increase and you also increase your likelihood of needing long-term care.
An unexpected health event could make you uninsurable for long-term care insurance. Take your family’s health conditions into consideration. Has a close family member needed care in the past or filed a claim for long-term care insurance?
Most women do not want to become a burden to their family. It can be emotionally and financially taxing to provide care for a family member. Your loved ones may be busy managing their own family and financial affairs. Plus your family may be spread geographically making providing care or coordinating care for a loved one challenging, if not impossible.
Nobody wants to think that they may need help with Activities of Daily Living, yet it eventually affects most of us. Women tend to be the caregiver and can have a difficult time accepting that they may need to be the care receiver at some point. This is a conversation that could make the difference from finding yourself in a crisis, to being prepared to get the care you need, and a way to pay for it.
Long-term care insurance does not have to be an all-or-nothing decision. You can always put some level of protection in place versus ignoring the risk altogether. As with any insurance, if you purchase a policy you are passing off some the risk to the insurance company. Obtain the facts so you can look at your options to make an informed decision.
Long-term care insurance is an important part of an overall financial plan, especially for women. By doing a bit of homework, you can be prepared and put a plan in place to cover any future long-term care costs. If the time comes when you need care, you and your family will be thankful that you were proactive and prepared versus finding yourself in a crisis.
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Laura R. Knolle is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with Ballou Plum Wealth Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm in Lafayette. Laura is also a Registered Representative with LPL Financial (LPL). The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendation for any individual. Financial Planning offered through Ballou Plum Wealth Advisors, A Registered Investment Advisor and a separate entity. Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Long term care insurance guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company.
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