I’m Kerry Peabody, a LTC insurance expert, and this article is from my post as an Expert Blogger on the Maine Senior Guide blog. As an expert in LTC (long term care) insurance, any opportunity to help educate you about this topic is valuable, because there’s so much inaccurate and misleading stuff floating around out there. Since about 70% of us will need long term care services at some point, you need to know the facts. I’m going to provide you with clear, concise information on the risks you face and what your options are to protect yourself. A single long term care event can quickly wipe out a lifetime of savings, and tear up a family. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way, but you need to take steps now to get ready for it.
Most of us have a story about long term care. We’ve seen it in both my family and my wife’s. My grandmother, Eileen, spent the last two years of her life in a Medicaid bed in Downeast Maine. Although the staff was professional and attentive, she wanted to be at home, but she couldn’t. We visited her frequently, but I confess – there were times I put it off, just because I felt so helpless to do anything for her. (If I had been in the LTC business ten years earlier, this wouldn’t have happened.) She didn’t have the money to pay for the services she needed, and ended up on MaineCare, in a nursing home.
My wife’s grandmother, Elizabeth, on the other hand, received daily home care services for several years before she finally had to go into the nursing home, where she spent a few months before she passed. The difference was that she had the resources to pay for basic care services in her own home for as long as they were sufficient, and the private money to get into the nursing home of her choice. This made her final years much more tolerable. It’s unfortunate, but it boils down to this – if you have money to pay for care, you’re in control. If not, you’re at the mercy of someone else – your family, your friends, or “the system.”
I want to help you avoid that. Do you have a stable income? Do you own your home, or have other assets? Do you want to make sure that your family doesn’t bear the burden of care? Do you want to be calling the shots when you need care? If you answered “yes” to these, then you need to at least explore your options. For some families, long term care insurance isn’t the answer, but for many others, it can be.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a good long term care insurance safety net. Most of my clients are surprised by how affordable it can be, if properly designed. And the best part – it’s free to learn about it. All it costs you is a couple of hours of your time, and that’s a small price to pay for knowing what you’re up against, and how you can avoid it.
Talk to you soon!
Kerry Peabody, CSA (certified Senior Advisor) CLTC (certified Long Term Care insurance advisor) Clark Insurance