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Bruce Sackrison's Insurance Matters: Long term care insurance - do I need it?
Insurance Matters

Bruce Sackrison's Insurance Matters: Long term care insurance - do I need it?

From the Bruce Sackrison's Insurance Matters series
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Bruce Sackrison

Bruce Sackrison is a Napa Valley Register columnist who will write about property and casualty insurance matters.

You’ve already got all of the required insurance policies such as homeowners, auto, and health insurance. Maybe you even have a life insurance policy.

But have you ever really considered whether long-term care insurance would be beneficial to you?

I’m going to go over some statistics that just might make you ponder how prepared you and your family are for the later years of life.

Whether you are thinking about your personal needs or those of your parents, here are some facts to consider as you navigate life after middle age.

As difficult as is it to accept, most of us will end up needing help with daily tasks as we age. Things like bathing, using the toilet, getting dressed, feeding ourselves, getting in and out of bed or chairs become difficult or impossible without help.

According to the National Health Care Data, these are the top 10 reasons that bring about the need for long-term care:

  • Broken bones
  • Recovery from an illness, injury, or surgery
  • Rehabilitation after a hospital stay
  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Head injury, often from a fall
  • Obesity or chronic/terminal medical condition

The average age of a care recipient is 69.4 years. It is recommended that you look into purchasing a long-term care policy after your 60th birthday.

Chances of you needing long-term care before you turn 60 are very slim, but by the time you turn 65, your odds greatly increase. An estimated 70% of people over 65 will need some type of long-term care.

Many people mistakenly expect that the government will take care of their needs as they age. If you are depending on Medicare or Medicaid, be prepared for disappointment.

Medicare is not set up to help with long-term care, and Medicaid only chips in once your assets have been sufficiently diminished. (Which won’t take long, if you are not prepared!)

The average annual costs for long term care options in the state of California in 2019 looked like this:

  • Homemaker services $64,000
  • Home health aide $64,000
  • Assisted living $54,000
  • Nursing home, semi-private room $105,000
  • Nursing home, private room $127,000

It doesn’t take long for a savings account to go from a hefty nest egg to an empty nest, then houses and properties get sold to pay for the extra expenses.

These are a lot of facts to take in, and they are not the most pleasant to think about. It doesn’t need to be such a burden.

With a long-term care policy, you can rest at ease that your life’s work won’t get depleted should you require personal care in the future.

The investment you make now in a good policy may make all the difference in providing future financial security for you and your loved ones.

I can help you find a good provider. Call me to discuss long-term care insurance.

Bruce Sackrison is an insurance property and casualty broker affiliated with Professional Insurance Associates. He is at 707-931-0186 or bruces@sackifs.com.

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