Here at Policysolver we talk to clients and prospects all the time about their needs for long-term care planning.
Recently, I talked to someone in Colorado about their situation with long-term care planning and how it wasn’t going as smoothly as he would like. The person I spoke with is a son who is trying to find the right assisted living facility for his father. We had a long discussion about what he’s looking for, and all of the research he’s done about care facilities over the past several months.
He told me that he has a folder full of information he’s found on the web, and is still trying to sift through all of it to see what makes sense and can help with his long-term care planning situation.
He’s visited a few places, and it feels to him like all anyone wants to do on these visits is sell him on how great their facility is. However, the biggest thing he’s discovering is just how expensive senior care facilities are. He’s been blown away.
The price ranges he’s been given are in the high $30K’s and $40K’s per year. According to the national statistics that’s actually a bargain, but I understand his point. That’s still a lot of money.
The reality is long-term are costs can range from the $30K’s to over $100k. And in places like California and New York, it can be even higher than that. No matter where you live, and will need to receive care (at home or in a facility), it won’t be cheap. So, having a plan to pay for the cost of long-term care is critical.
So, I started by asking him what he’s done to figure out how much money his father will be able to afford to pay and how long that money will last. He’s been working on getting his hands around personal savings accounts, social security, and also some veteran’s benefits, but he’s coming up a little short of the anticipated amount.
I then said that depending on his father’s age and any existing health considerations he may or may not have, he could look into long-term care insurance. He asked me “what is long-term care insurance?” So, I laid out the basics of it to him and told him it’s an option we could explore if he wanted.
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As we started to go deeper into the situation with his father we concluded that it’s probably too late for the long-term care insurance option as there is a strong likelihood that, given his father’s health, he won’t make it through underwriting.
I was surprised he’s never heard of long-term care insurance. When I asked him why he hasn’t heard of it, he said he’s been so focused on trying to find the right place for his dad, and there’d been no suggestion of it from anyone he’d reached out to in senior care facilities about options to pay for their services. They just want him to book a room for his father, seemingly at any cost.
This speaks volumes about our society, in that there isn’t enough conversation going on about planning for long-term care, and what the options are in terms of helping to pay for long-term care. One of the best options is in fact long-term care insurance but unfortunately, in this person’s case, it’s too late.
Looking to resolve his dilemma, we ended up talking about a short-term care plan that might still be an option, given his father’s condition, and also looking into a reverse mortgage. He was appreciative of the conversation and ideas we discussed. He hadn’t thought that there were any ways to pay for long-term care other than personal savings, social security, and perhaps veteran’s benefits.
Forward Thinking – Forming a Long-Term Care Plan
While he’s still figuring out the plan for his dad, he’s now convinced that he needs to start developing a long-term-care plan for both he and his wife, and that maybe long-term care insurance will be the right solution for them when it comes to help pay for their needs. I told him to start on that plan as soon as possible — it’ll create more options and flexibility.
We at Policysolver truly believe that. We’re here to help, so please reach out if you’d like to learn more.