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Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,551
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

Message 51 of 142 (33,867 Views)

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by kom2010

Just as a social comment, I think that medical research needs to focus on "quality of life" keeping pace with longevity; it's crazy to extend life for people, if there's poor quality going with it!

I haven't bothered with LTC insurance, because my income should cover it. The longer people live, I think the more restrictions will be instituted on LTC coverage, because statistically the companies will be unable to cover their clients' needs otherwise.


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Regular Social Butterfly
Posts: 370
Registered: ‎03-29-2010

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

Message 52 of 142 (33,866 Views)

The fastest growing group in ALL industrialized nations, from Europe to the US to the traditional Three Tigers of Asia, is the age group 80+ yrs. This is why all of these nations are facing serious healthcare issues specific to their own culture/healthcare systems.

Longevity is now increasing every month, statistically speaking. Each baby born in a calendar month will live on average, several days longer than a baby born in previous months. Medical technology is geared towards saving lives of common critical illnesses.

Statistics now show that if a couple reaches retirement age 65 in good health, the death of the SURVIVING spouse is age....92. And that age, like the babies being born, continues to creep up every year as we extend mortality.

What is not addressed is quality of life. Other nations care for their elderly (which is a massive cost they are wrestling with) while the US does not, putting most of the burden on the individual/family assets.

80% of Medicare's cost is spent on 20% of its enrollees, in the last 2-5 years of their lives. Whether we, as taxpayers, continue to fund this or, as the ultra-conservatives want, disassemble and gut all government entitlement programs, there are hard choices we all must make.

Do we stop spending on the very sick/very old? There are more of them, in growing numbers, than the young/permanently disabled. I know very few 30- or 40-yr olds who are permanently disabled or medically impaired in some way, but a fair number of Boomers are, and when you get to the 80+-yr olds the percentage shift to an overwhelming majority of some type of impairment.

Given the thrust of the medical research/technology that has increased longevity to amazing lengths at astonishing speed, but has not concentrated on ensuring quality end-of-life on a consistent basis, there are only two choices:

- Make sure you have enough funds to self-insure, not only for yourself but your spouse. Be certain any family member you care for also can self-insure without your assistance. It doesn't matter where you get the liquidity from, just that you have access to funds on demand and for an extended period.

- Reduce your financial risk by strategic planning, which will probably include LTC insurance, purchased when the cost/value ratio is most favorable to YOU, not the insurer.

Making the determination of cost/value ratio in one's financial planning is a process no different than buying life, disability, homeowners, auto, or health insurance. These are all specialty products, and must be considered on an individual basis because everyone has a unique financial profile.

If one has sufficient liquidity to self-insure, insurance needs are reduced, if not eliminated.

Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 10,667
Registered: ‎01-24-2008

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

Message 53 of 142 (3,044 Views)

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by kom2010

What I meant was that I don't think the actuary tables would justify the very high premiums for older people because while there may be more likely care need it won't last as long as that for a relatively young person stricken with a major dehabiliting disease. Just a logical assumption on my part.

Some insurers go to at least 77 or so, but you have to be in pretty good health and able to pass cognitive ability tests etc. Still not affordable though in our case.

Some retirement housing plans do offer LTC for a lot less than the premiums for a couple of years  as part of the initiation fee. Again you have to be in pretty good shape to qualify.

Karl

Regular Social Butterfly
Posts: 370
Registered: ‎03-29-2010

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

Message 54 of 142 (2,830 Views)

As anyone who has read my posts can tell you, sleepercell, I'm a retired executive assistant who worked in insurance, banking, consulting, and financial services. I don't work for anyone and don't need to. I spend my time gardening, cooking, reading, and writing (just posted some stories on one of the fiction sites).

Anyone can self-insure. Whether they SHOULD self-insure is another matter altogether.

That is not my determination to make for anyone else. Unlike you, I think people should be aware of options, research them, and evaluate what suits their own personal financial situation. What works for me does not work for you, and vice versa.

There is no one solution for everybody. Self-insurance is the "right" thing only for certain people. Astraea self-insures, as do many people I know who have sufficient assets to be able to do so.

Some people like to work on their own cars. I don't. I know how to, I just don't want to. Therefore I pay somebody to do it for me. Some people pay gardeners a monthly fee to keep their landscape neat and tidy; I prefer to do it myself because I enjoy it.

IOW, I assess how I spend my time. It's no different than assessing how we spend our money, except that it is more complicated. Saying "oh, it's simple to do investing/financial planning and anybody can do it themselves" is not only self-deluding, it is contemptuous and denigrating.

Because most people are not trained to analyze properly nor how to research what factors they do not know, which is far more important in financial planning than in gardening. Build your house on sand, and it can fall - as simple as that. It may not....or it may. But you have increased your risk factors, whereas better planning, more knowledge, and/or using a professional could have increased your chances of success and lowered your risks.

You are fortunate that you can just ignore an $81K/yr figure and say, "I can self-insure." I cannot, and I doubt your vaunted hypothetical $48K/yr middle class person cannot either. How long would it take most people to save up $81K? Are they to sell their houses? Where do the spouse and children live?

For you to attack Astraea and then me with snide remarks, merely weakens your own arguments.

Silver Conversationalist
Posts: 2,581
Registered: ‎12-06-2010

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

Message 55 of 142 (2,809 Views)

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by kom2010

Are you selling LTC Insurance or do you work for AARP or both?

Corporations self insure and individuals and families can do the same thing.

Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 4,221
Registered: ‎07-31-2010

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

Message 56 of 142 (2,808 Views)

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by SLEEPERCELL

Thank you...happy to share. ~ Mimi

“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."
War With Honour, 1940 ~ A.A. Milne
Regular Social Butterfly
Posts: 370
Registered: ‎03-29-2010

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

Message 57 of 142 (2,298 Views)

Peter Schiff would love not paying income taxes, since he's got money up the ying-yang and votes conservative all the way.

What people did before LTC insurance was....they died. If you got cancer, you died. If you had a heart attack, you died - if not from the first, definitely from the second one that happened soon after. If you were blown up by a shell in a war zone where the medics couldn't reach you, you died.

If you were lucky enough to live to 65 that made you an old geezer. In 1900 average life expectancy in the US was a ripe old 48. That wasn't so long ago; my grandmother (who lived with us for a time when I was 11) and grandfather had already emigrated from Japan and bought a farm in Washington state by 1910.

If you made it to old age, your family took care of you (I seem to remember making these points in earlier posts on this thread, actually). These days, however, many Boomers do not have large families to take care of them. And many are 'sandwiched' between elderly parents/in-laws and Millennial children.

Although it wasn't a popular thing to say, I remember reading about ten years ago that one highly respected financial planner said, "If you want to retire early, it's simple. Don't have children."

Harsh, but true. It's extremely hard to raise children and still save fully for retirement. There are several reasons we were able to retire early successfully, but one of the biggest is, indeed, we chose not to have children. We simply did not make enough money to live in an expensive area, raise children and also retire early.

In most regions of the US the one-wage earner household still reigns as the majority. On the West Coast, the opposite is true. In fact, I out-earned DH for more than half the 37 yrs we've been together. But twenty years ago, when we bought our home - our combined income on the mortgage application was $42K. It wasn't that much higher six years later when we bought our LTC policies.

So instead of quoting statistics, I am proof that middle-class people CAN buy LTC insurance and even after 11 yrs can still afford it. It is a personal decision of what to spend your money on.

I would rather give up an expensive vacation every year and take more modest ones, to ensure that if I become seriously disabled for years on end, it will not impoverish my DH....and vice versa.

Each of our LTC policies currently would pay over $81,000/yr. That's $162K/yr we don't have to save out of our fixed income retirement budget.

Those who can self-insure to those amounts are to be congratulated. We cannot. A modest monthly LTC premium is, when viewed holistically, is a small price to pay for our peace of mind.

THAT is what we consider a comfortable retirement.

Silver Conversationalist
Posts: 2,581
Registered: ‎12-06-2010

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

Message 58 of 142 (2,298 Views)

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by ASTRAEA

You can make all the assumptions you want as you've totally missed my past points--- I'll live where I want to live because I can afford too.

China may make a good home for you since you believe Capitalism trumps social responsibility.

Peter Schiff: U.S. Should Abolish Corporate and Personal Income Taxes

Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,551
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

Message 59 of 142 (2,298 Views)

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by SLEEPERCELL

I think you may be living in the wrong country, if you want to be totally supported by the government as a senior!


Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Silver Conversationalist
Posts: 2,581
Registered: ‎12-06-2010

RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement?

Message 60 of 142 (2,298 Views)

In Response to RE: How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? by kom2010

I know I'm butting in just to say, No worries - you can disagree that is ok.

I think buying into LTC is a quandary for many Americans again based upon statistics that show the average American income (not disposable) around $48K per year. Then the liquidity that most Americans don't have opens up a question as to what to do.

Government has found more ways than any other to tax Americans and the more they tax us the greater the problems.

Still the key question is "Is this How America Should Treat Seniors?" Seniors income tax free as well as their homes--- would certainly pay great dividends in one Seniors could pay for LTC and would have the buying power to do so in the right climate.

LTC prices are not the same in all Jurisdictions either--- we priced it out in our mid forties and it was outrageously expensive and the policies were pay forever on the premiums.

For us we self insured meaning, we set aside a monthly amount for EMERGENCY FUNDS--- statistics say once you get placed in a nursing home your survival rate goes way down.

BEFORE LTC Insurance what did people do?