November is National Long-Term Care Awareness Month. Even the U.S. Congress has urged “the people of the United States to recognize an opportunity to learn more about the potential risks and costs … and the options available.” As professionals committed to helping people protect themselves against the risks of long-term care, we encourage you to take this topic seriously. It can impact you and loved ones.
Smart reasons to think about long-term care as part of your overall financial plan.
You use insurance to protect against other risks like a car accident or house fire. The need for long-term care could be an even bigger risk to your savings and your retirement. Just as it is smart to plan ahead for retirement, it’s smart to plan now for long-term care. Here are some things you should know:
- Buy before age 65; avoid the high cost of waiting. Your age and your health are important factors that determine the cost of long-term care insurance protection. Costs are based on your age at application and go up each year. By waiting to purchase until you are retired you might find it’s just too expensive to buy this important protection.
- At younger ages you can lock in good health special savings. Your good health today can help you ‘lock in’ preferred health discounts that won’t change even if your health does. If you currently have a health condition it’s especially important to find out if you can qualify before it may get worse.
- Discounts can help significantly reduce the cost. You may be surprised by how affordable long-term care insurance protection can be. There are ways to reduce the cost of long-term care, especially if you have a shared care scenario where you and a spouse can share the benefits. You can also specifically design a policy that fits your budget, providing basic coverage without overfunding the policy.
Some things you need to know about long-term care:
- You’re probably not covered. Many people mistakenly believe they are covered for long-term care, but this assistance is not typically covered by your health or long-term disability insurance.
- Government programs aren’t designed to pay for all your long-term care needs. Medicare only pays for skilled care, while Medicaid only covers the poor – those whose assets are at or below state-required levels. These programs often don’t cover care provided in your own home.
- Long-term care doesn’t mean nursing home care. In fact, the majority of people who need long-term care remain in their own home or in their community. Most long-term care insurance policies will cover people in all care settings including the home. That’s a significant benefit.
The first step is in your hands.
There is no cost or obligation to find out how much long-term care insurance protection costs. Why not find out now. It’s an important first-step to take. Call us today at 253.534.8888.
Make Long-Term Care Awareness Month the time you start planning.
~ BHJ Wealth Advisors — Gig Harbor, Washington