I will always love you
No matter what
No matter where you go
Or what you do
“Come to Me,” lyrics written and sung by Celine Dion.
It’s May. Once again Mother’s Day reminds us to pause to celebrate how special, caring and forgiving moms are. Mine died eight years ago after more than a decade of dementia. A long, sad farewell. But she gave us the give of long-term care insurance which she and my dad bought in 1992.
We’ve written a lot about women and long-term care:
We’re living longer, not necessarily healthier. The need for long-term care is not going away. In fact, it’s growing. We have an aging population. The government projections are still that at ages 65 and older most of us will experience an LTC event.
We read a lot about retirement preparedness today. In survey after survey, the number one concern in retirement is running out of money. The 2016 National Retirement Risk Index reported that 50% of households were at risk of being able to maintain their standard of living in retirement. Consider that 37% of retirees had to stop working sooner than planned. The most common reason was health issues.
The cost of health care is estimated to be $280,000 for a couple turning 65 today.
This does not include the cost of long-term care. The risk of needing care is great and the cost is expensive. Yet today, only 11% of Americans over the age of 50 own LTCI.
What claims history tells us
Sixty-four percent of claims in 2018 were paid to women compared to 36% to men. Why? Well, for starters women generally outlive their spouses. They provide care for their spouses but end up widowed and eventually need care themselves.
We also know the number one reason for claims is dementia. The average duration of 60% of claims is just over four years including care that spans all care venues. But the average duration of Alzheimer’s is eight years from diagnosis to death. The longer we live the greater the chance of developing dementia.
We’re advocates of shared long-term care insurance policies so that both mom and dad are insured. The gift of insurance is really a gift for the entire family. Consider sharing premium with your siblings.