Unless you are really, really broke or really, really rich, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll need some sort of long term care (LTC). If you’re extremely wealthy or dirt poor, go ahead and abandon this blog post (but come back in a week or so for the next one!).
But for those who fall in the very large middle of those two categories—that’s almost everyone, by the way—you’ll want to keep reading.
Who needs long term care?
The short answer to this question is most of us.
No one wants to think about getting old, wearing diapers, and not being able to go through life without assistance. But this stuff really happens! And if you’re one of the vast majority of us that ends up needing care, a long term care policy will turn out to be the smartest investment you ever make.
Let’s see how well you do on the following quiz question:
The odds that either you or your spouse will need long term care are:
Answer: There’s a 91 percent chance that either you or your spouse will need long term care. Let that sink in for a second.
When that happens, if you don’t have long term care insurance, you may end up looking to others (probably your kids) to cover the cost of care. This is, of course, after you’ve depleted your entire life savings.
What will happen if you don’t buy LTC insurance?
As I mentioned to Rodney Brooks in USA Today, a few years of paying for care can ruin you financially. So before you dismiss LTC insurance as a non-essential or luxury, ask yourself how much of a burden you plan on being on your family.
So what’s the bottom line?
70 percent of those over 65 years of age will need LTC. Sure, you could wind up in the 30 percent group that doesn’t need it, but do you really want to take that chance? Can you afford to take that chance?
The cost of a live-in caregiver may add up to $1,200 a week, plus meals. An assisted living facility costs about $3,000 a month.
Here are some more numbers to think about (I know about this stuff FIRST HAND): both of my parents (Mom is 81, Dad is 84) are currently receiving long term care. Dad is at home with live-in care -- $200 a day. Mom was recently in a nursing home – over $300 a day. Do the math. That’s $180,000 A YEAR for the two of them.
I think you’ll agree…Those costs are staggering. And the costs are going up every year.
If you have a mattress full of cash or your kids are rich, you’ll probably be OK. But if not, you might die broke. My parents probably will.
Fill out a long term care insurance quote request and find out just how affordable LTC insurance can be for you.