The US senior population has exploded as baby boomers turn 65. According to the US census report released in May 2014, the aging population will nearly double in size from the level of 43.1 million in 2012 to 83.7 million in 2050. Among the millions, many will require long-term care. Who provides that care if you need it?
What care may you need? Did you get out of bed this morning, rush to the bathroom? Have you showered and dressed? Did you feed yourself? These are the “acts of everyday life” that we do every day without thinking about it. Insurance companies define daily activities as moving, going to the toilet, continence, bathing, dressing and eating. If you are unable to perform two of these activities, you may be eligible for long-term care.
I often joke as a mother of four, one of my children will take care of me. Hopefully this will be the case. I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and arthritis and I am not eligible for long-term care insurance.
I am an insurance agent who sells long term care insurance. Unfortunately, I have received calls asking about policies from a parent who has had a stroke or other health problem that requires 24-hour care. Unfortunately, if you require long-term care, you are not eligible for a long-term care policy. So get ready! Discover your options.
Medicare and Medicaid, “government entitlement programs,” will pay for your medical care, but they are not designed for long-term care. However, Medicaid will pay for a nursing home if your assets don’t exceed $2,000.
Here’s a short list of other options for you to explore:
* A traditional long-term care policy
* A universal life policy with a long-term care rider
* A reverse mortgage
What care do you want? Do you want to be cared for in your home, a care home or a nursing home? Visit nursing homes and assisted living facilities near you. The cost may surprise you. Research the cost of a home care worker or nanny who can prepare meals and clean your home. Use these facts to estimate the $s needed to keep you in the style you’re used to.
Keep your golden years gold for you and your family and friends. That old adage, “Not preparing is preparing to fail” rings true in this situation. Hopefully we will spend the last years of our lives in good health and end it with a peaceful death in our own bed. But if not, you have a plan.