Per the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease is the 6th leading cause of death in America. The rate of deaths due to Alzheimers rose 68% between 2000 and 2010. This is due in large part to longevity increases and better diagnosis.
One in three seniors now dies while suffering from Alzheimers or another form of dementia. Dementia can last for many years requiring significant time in long term care at home and/or a facility. For many diseases the death rate is going down because the federal government funds and invests in research, but we have not seen that same commitment for Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia, including Alzheimers, takes a toll on families. In 2012, more than 15 million people were caregivers for someone with Alzheimers. The problem starts often decades before the disease is apparent. Once a memory concern is on your medical record it is too late to get long term care insurance. Even a question posed at a regular physical about memory, and discounted by the doctor will be recorded in the medical record and eliminate any hope of purchasing long term care insurance.
Ten thousand baby boomers are turning 65 every day in America, and will for the next 18 years. By age 65, over 10% of us have Alzheimers. By 85, 3/4 of us do. Couple that with our longevity increases due to better medical care and you can see that dementia is becoming an epidemic.
Who will provide care for you when you can no longer live on your own? How many children did you have and where do they live? The Ozzie and Harriet of the 1950’s where the wife stayed home and could easily have parents move in when they needed help is long gone. Assisted living facilities average $3500 a month if not much care is needed, and the cost is much higher for dementia care. Nursing homes cost more than double that and in-home care, if needed on an ongoing daily basis is also expensive.
If you have a $400,000 nest egg for retirement, and plan to live on that, will an extra annual bill of $50,000 to $100,000 be a problem for your strategy? Many people do not even consider the cost of long term care in their retirement plans. The insurance for long term care does not need to be expensive. Most of us have some discretionary spending that would cease if one of a couple needs care. Those dollars can pay part of the bill and perhaps interest on the nest egg can be used as well without tapping and decimating that nest egg. Consider the rest to be provided by a long term care insurance policy – while you are still healthy enough to get one. You may be healthy right now, but you are only one doctor visit away from suddenly being uninsurable at any price.
Investigate long term care insurance with an expert who specializes in this and has access to many policies, not a generalist who says they can do this as well as your car, home, life insurance and also manage your investments. www.TheLongTermCareGuy.com, Romeo Raabe, would be a good place to start if you live in Wisconsin. He can be reached at 800-219-9203 or 920 884-3030.