New Study Details Financial Costs of Caregiving

Numerous studies have underscored the physical and psychological strain of taking care
of an aging, ailing loved one. However, a recent study by Genworth quantifies
the monetary loss that caregiving entails without the benefit of Long Term Care insurance.  The new report, titled “Beyond Dollars: A Way Forward” calculated that, on average, families would be able to save nearly $11,000 yearly in out-of-pocket expenses if long term care arrangements were made prior to the loved one actually needing long term care.  Moreover, 53% of family members that acted as the primary caregiver have lost income due to their caregiving duties.

The days of Ozzie and Harriet, where the stay at home moms ran the house in a dress and heels ended long ago.  They had the time, energy, and space to take care of family members when they could no longer live on their own.  Today’s families rarely have the time or space to be full-time caregivers.  Many try, but the demands of family, jobs, and living often mean compromises and less than optimal results.

This new study emphasizes the cost in dollars that falls on family members who try to do the best they can at caregiving or assisting in caregiving.  Long drives, restaurant meals, hotel stays, etc. all add up while limiting one’s time available for gardening, coupon cutting, or other cost saving strategies many would like to employ.  Unforseen costs such as paying for yard care while visiting a family member do add up.

So why is it that so few adult children consider paying for long term care insurance for parents?  If parents have property, businesses, or other assets that might be used up paying for care, instead of being available for inheritance, it would seem to be prudent for the children, if able, to consider such insurance to be able to keep family assets in the family.

Another strategy is for parents to use an illiquid asset to pay for such insurance to prevent liquidation to pay for care.  If a line of credit is arranged for on the home through a reverse mortgage, that line of credit will increase automatically every year, regardless of any changes, up or down, in the value of the home.  Those annual increases can be used to pay the premium on long term care insurance, leaving other asset intact as well as providing for care.  Thus family can enjoy the remaining years, instead of that time becoming a burden for all.

There are many ways to prepare for the eventuality of needing care at some point in our lives.  While some limited last-minute help may be possible, preparing can prevent long term care impoverishment and provide flexibility of care options.  Why not find out what can be done in your situation?  Call Romeo Raabe at (902) 884-3030 or (800) 219-9203 and learn what you can do.

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