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May is Disability Awareness Month – Does Long Term Care Keep You Up at Night?

Becoming disabled from sickness or accident and unable to work is a significant problem for many. Once retired you might think this is no longer a concern.

But what if you became disabled enough to need assistance with bathing, or dressing, or moving about (arthritis)?  50% of Long Term Care is due to dementia, something that scares most everyone, and is becoming more and more common as we live longer lives.  This need for care happens to 70% of people who have reached age 65 according to HHS, and typically it starts by involving spouse or family helping out.

Caring for a family member can be a full time, 24 hour a day job and nobody can do that for long, especially when that caregiver may be over age 65 themselves.  You can hire care to come into the home daily to help out, but this is expensive.  We also have assisted living facilities popping up like mushrooms in the spring, but they cost from $4000 to $8000 a month.  Who can handle a bill like that for very long?

Medicare does not pay for long term care.  Medicare is for doctors and hospitals and fixing us when we are broken.  It does pay for a few days in a rehab center following a hospital stay of at least 3 days as an inpatient, but not for anything more.

Medicaid is a welfare program that will pay for care once you are completely out of money (broke).  They strongly verify this and will not provide care if you have given money away in the past 5 years.

Long term care insurance is the least expensive way to handle these costs, if you purchased it back while you were healthy.  Most people are surprised to learn they do not need as much of it as they think.  When health changes, the family budget changes as well.  No more extra vehicles, toys, travel, when someone cannot drive.  The money previously spent for fun can be redirected towards the cost of care.  Interest on savings can also help out without spending any of the savings themselves.  Only the shortfall needs to come from insurance.

If you did not plan ahead and now find yourself among the 70% of seniors who need care and without a plan, there are some alternative strategies that can make your money last longer.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pay for this care and have some left over for spouse or family?

In a worst case scenario, there is a way to protect some money for family instead of every cent going to the costs of care.  At The Long Term Care Guy we work with every one of these strategies.  If this keeps you up at night, give us a call (business hours please), and lets investigate what strategies might help you.  You can reach us at (920) 884-3030 to schedule a meeting.  There is no cost to investigate.

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The Long Term Care Guy