Long Term Care and You

What is the definition of long term care?

The standard definition of long term care in the industry is the inability to perform six activities of daily living that are expected to last for at least ninety days, or a severe cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s or dementia. The six activities of daily living are bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, transferring in and out of bed or chair, and continence. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners have put this definition in place nationwide. Those who meet the guidelines trigger the benefits from their long term care policy, which will then begin to pay out.

Do people generally think about their future long-term care needs?

They do. They may not discuss it with family, friends, or with an agent, but they are thinking about it. As you know, we are living longer. Recently, in the news, they said that a problem is arising in which we’re outliving the money that we have. So yes, they think about it, and they think about running out of money. They think about who’s going to care for them. Getting back to the long-term care, they think about two things: if I need care, who’s going to care for me and how am I going to pay for it?

How can someone prepare for their long-term care needs?

Preparation is the key. Whatever plan you choose to have in place. That plan can be as simple as identifying the money that is needed to take care of you. Some people may choose to use monies to care for them through some type of investment that they have. Others may choose to purchase a stand-alone long-term care policy. Some may choose to buy a life insurance policy with living benefits, and others may choose to do an asset-based care. This is a policy that provides you care and death benefits; it also has a cash value. If you decide you want out of that policy, you can go ahead and cash in on it.

What is the typical cost for long-term care?

The typical cost will really depend on the individual product that you buy. The best time to buy a long-term care is between ages 45-65. Consumers should not be paying more than approximately 7-10% of their income. Long-term care is a suitability product, so it’s based on affordability and suitability. Remember the most important plan in place is the one that’s going to take care of you. If you need extended care, always discuss that with your loved ones, and they’ll be better prepared to take care of you.

Contact our product specialist Paul Manginelli to learn more about your options for long-term care and life insurance.
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