By Brian Gordon, President of MAGA LTC.
Some people plan for the possibility of needing long term care…and other people don’t. If you haven’t already purchased long term care insurance (LTCI), or engaged in some other form of long term care planning, whether or not you will actually do so may depend on the kind of person you are.
People who engage in long term care planning share one common characteristic: they move through life as “planners.” In an uncertain world, they aim to control as much as they can through planning. It’s how they are wired. To paraphrase a popular expression, “planners gonna plan.”
You Know You’re a Planner If…
The best indicator that someone is a planner is that they already have a personal financial plan in place. While motivations for doing so may vary—some do it to prepare for a dream-come-true retirement; some to put their children through college—the outcome is the same.
Chances are, you’re a planner, too—if you’ve already:
- Created a retirement account, such as a 401K or IRA.
- Set up a college planning fund for your child or children.
- Established an emergency fund in case of job loss or some unforeseen expense.
- Drawn up a will and possibly a trust.
Some planners rely on financial advisors; some do their own legwork. Either way, if you’re financially prepared for whatever the future may hold, you’re a planner, too.
What Drives People to Plan for Long Term Care?
Planners like facts. Planners like numbers. So, when someone decides to engage in long term care planning, it’s likely it’s because they were persuaded by facts like these:
- They are statistically likely to need it. 70% of people over age 65 will experience a “long term care event”—an injury or illness that triggers the need for care.
- Long term care is expensive. The average cost of a home health aide is about $50,000 per year; the average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $89,000 per year.
- Medicare doesn’t pay long term care expenses, and Medicaid only pays after you’ve spent down your assets.
Furthermore, planners who’ve done their long term care planning report that they are particularly happy that:
- They won’t need to dip into their savings or income to pay for care.
- They won’t need to depend on their family members for care (or the funds to pay for it).
- They’re confident that they can afford whatever services they’ll need. And if they need to move into a nursing home, they can pick their facility, unlike with Medicaid.
- Their designated long term care coverage helps protect income for spouses and partners, as well as any family legacy they’ve planned to leave behind.
People who plan for long term care can’t forecast the future any better than anyone else. They’re just more committed to being ready for whatever it brings. Planners are willing to do what it takes and get whatever help they need to be prepared. If you’d like more information about long term care insurance, and if it might be a good choice for you, click here.