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Re: RE: Long Term Care - Love it or Hate it?

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Update as of Nov. 2018 - My wife's second stroke in Dec. of 2017 and failure of her left hip has resulted in her needing assistance with her daily living activities. She requires help standing, walking, bathing, dressing, medication administration,cooking, etc. The only activity of daily living that she can do is feeding herself. So we have submitted and been approved for getting financial assistance for her from our long term care policies. We now have a caregiver 5 days a week for 4 hours a day. 

This has been a true blessing. She has a companion (other than me) that she visits with and gets hands on help with all of the above. We use home instead a home health agency (they provide a cargiver 4 hours a day 5 days a week)and the cost at this point for that caregiver is $25 per hour which converts to $500 a week or about $25000 a year. I have instructed the caregiver to spend 100% of her time with Jan not only assisting with daily living activities but also just being her companion. 

Either I or a housekeeper (if we get one) will continue to take care of cleaning of the home etc. 

It also has been a relief for me knowing that I can now leave the home with the knowledge that she we someone to keep Jan safe from falls etc.

So I would encourage all of you out there atoconsider some long term care coverage. We have had our policies for about 15 years. Initial cost for the first 10 years was $2000 per year for both of us. In the 11th year  the two policies increased to $3600 per year for . Our initial coverage was for only $100/day with a life time max of about $110,000. Not nearly enough now. We however purchased an inflation rider which has increased the coverage today to just over $200 per day with a livetime max of about $210000. In addition our policies are set up to allow either one of us to also use both policies if necessary - so total coverage of over $400,000 for one or both of us. 

We now are thankful that we did purchase these policies when we did.

 

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Re: RE: Long Term Care - Love it or Hate it?

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Message 2 of 47

Interesting comments:  Here is our situation. We did buy the insurance with hope that we will never need to use it. My wife and I both purchased it about 14 years ago. The premiums were fixed for 10 years and then increased 50% in year 11. Since then there have been additional increases and premiums are now about 90% greater than initally. We considered dropping it this year and then ....

We are now 72 years old. My wife had a stroke 2 months ago and even though she has recovered and did not meet the minimum requirements for coverage we no longer even think about cancelling it.  If she has another stoke  she could be  bedridden for months - it will be a blessing to have long term care coverage.

jimbohretired

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Re: Long Term Care - Love it or Hate it?

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"...But based on the way the actuarial data is going, I don't believe that everyone who "thinks they'll only need care for a few years," should bet the bank on it.....".

 

   True. Hard to determine. DW and I are doing are risk mitigation by working out. We're 65 and 63 respectively, and work out 5 days a week, running 3 miles a day and weight lifting 4 days a week. I have about 8 pounds on me. DW weighs what she did at age 25.

 

   Healthy lifestyle is the best 'mitigator'. Admit, not a guarantee. But the worst health problems boomers have are brought on by themselves. Type II diabetes with myriad complications, years of smoking, years of sedentary lifestyle, years of junk food. 

   Everyone's emphasis should be on taking care of themselves properly........   


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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Re: Long Term Care - Love it or Hate it?

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Message 4 of 47

It's very likely more people will need LTCi than buy it. Look at the average statistics: 

- The fastest growing age group globally, in Europe, North America and China/Japan, is 80-100 yrs old.

- Median savings of Boomers per the Fed Reserve as reported by Motley Fool in Jan 2015: Ages 55-64 is $103,200. Ages 65-74 is $148,900.

- According to the Global Burden of Disease long-term study based upon 36,000 health data sources, between 1990 and 2013, the number of people in developed countries who suffered from 10 or more ailments increased by 52 percent. IOW, you have less and less chance of dying from one health crisis such as stroke or heart attack, but ever-increasing chances of growing old while suffering from multiple debilitating conditions simultaneously. (See NYTimes article: "Lives Grow Longer, and Health Care’s Challenges Change")

 

So what does elder care cost? 

 

Here's what it costs as of early 2015* in the San Francisco Bay Area, Northern CA. Facility prices are in Oakland, the 3rd largest city in the area (San Jose is first, SF itself is 2nd):

(* costs rise at every facility we talked to, every July 1st. Increase ranges from 2-4% across the board. Our knowledge of costs ends as of April 2015)

 

- Minimum wage rising to $15/hr in four cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, either immediately or by 2017. Other Bay Area cities will feel the pressure to follow suit.

 

- Independent senior living: providing meals or monthly meal allowance, social activities, housekeeping, transportation within a modest radius. At a very nice senior living facility nearby it's approx $2500 for a small 1bd 1ba. Costs at any facility go up from there (often straight up, LOL). Good-sized apartments of 500+ sq. ft. were about $3000-$4500/mo. At such places, any assistance is paid for and arranged by the resident, independent of the facility cost. There is usually a concierge or service rep on-site to assist in finding help.

 

- Staying at home? Licensed bonded 24/7 care runs $450-900 daily, depending upon need. If your needs are at the critical care level, you may have real trouble finding any agency help at all. There is a severe nursing shortage in CA.

 

- Prefer grey labor because it's cheaper? Get everything valuable out of the house, get your legal docs updated, and make sure your designated agent/trustee stays in close touch. County protective services divisions are seeing a huge increase in the number of elder abuse cases.

 

- Full service CCRCs: Buy-ins ranged from $6-$475K up front. Monthly rents range from $2000 for a studio up to $8K for a 2bd 2ba. NONE we interviewed would accept Medicaid-only patients.

 

- 2014 cost for Skilled Nursing in a top-rated non-profit facility = $7900/mo, or $94,800/yr.

 

As the statistics show, mortality is increasing even as morbidity is getting worse. We know four friends at last count, who have at least one parent terminally ill, who are taking literally years to die. These elderly are on oxygen, barely able to feel their feet or sign their name, or stumbling around with a walker....but they are alive. Maybe a bad quality of life, but they're afraid to die and don't want to.

 

There is no simple "calculator" for getting LTCi and probably never will be. It is a question of balancing the considerable cost vs your own morbidity and mortality risk. You either know how to evaluate the latter two, or you don't. It isn't taught in school; it's an industry-specific skill. It helps to find someone who has some training in it--your family doctor might be honest enough altho most won't touch the subject.

 

An insurance underwriter can make an educated guess because they have enough data to estimate what your odds are. There's a few Net health calculators that will help DIY, but in the end it's a guess....precisely like guessing what the chances are for you to get into an auto accident, or have a fire in your home.

 

I repeat once again, insurance is risk mitigation. The amount and value of it is dependent upon your personal circumstances. Everyone is unique that way.

 

We wanted the risk mitigation of LTCi and can afford it. Each of our LTCi policies will pay $103K/yr (benefit rises annually) - and it is income tax free per the IRS.

 

Do your own calculations of what your investment ROI is, and figure out how much you would need after taxes to generate whatever local cost you would pay - and if you're a couple, you'll need to double that, of course. You can either afford to put that aside, or you can't (we could not). Nobody knows how long you'll need to pay that out, either.

 

But based on the way the actuarial data is going, I don't believe that everyone who "thinks they'll only need care for a few years," should bet the bank on it.

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Re: RE: Long Term Care - Love it or Hate it?

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Message 5 of 47

Regarding facilities. I have a relative that bought in to a presbyterian (sp?) age in place facility.

They moved into independant living. Monthly cost about $3200 with a buy in of  just under $300000. They get the funds back if they ever move out.(assuming the facility/program is still financially viable.

 

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Re: Long Term Care - Love it or Hate it?

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Message 6 of 47

We also have similar questions and experience. We purchased a policy that had a 10 year premium guarantee of $2050 per year for both my spouse and I. In the 11th year the premium increased 50%.

WE at this point have decided to keep the policy as my Wife does have some health issues.The reason we have this policy is that it pays for in home care. We spend $3000 + per year but hope we never have to use the policy. 

 

 

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Re: Long Term Care - Love it or Hate it?

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Message 7 of 47

drawpoker, I guess you're right that it is not so much as the willingness to take care an aging mother but the question if you're still alive when your mother starts aging. I totally inderstand what you are trying to say, both of you ASTRAEA Smiley Happy

I'm a blogger at www.lifeandmess.com for www.completelongtermcare.com, an active member of Red Cross, and an animal volunteer
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Re: Long Term Care - Love it or Hate it?

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Message 8 of 47

"It's like she's telling us that we can't take care of her when she's old and frail. As the bills came in every month, ........."

 

castorie93,   there are no guarantees you or other family members will be around when that times comes,  is there.   You could be killed in an auto crash,   contract cancer and die early,  or a host of other things can happen to cancel your ticket. 

 

Insurance is something that is bought,  and then we hope we never use it,  right?   Whether it is homeowner's or automobile liability,  we hope to never have to use it.  Do you carry life insurance?  Do you look forward to "using" that ?    

 

If you can look at LTC coverage in the same way as other risks you might feel differently about it. 

 

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Re: Long Term Care - Love it or Hate it?

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Message 9 of 47
@castorie93 wrote:

As a daugther, seeing my mom paying every month lfor her insurance policy is like a silent kick in the gut. It's like she's telling us that we can't take care of her when she's old and frail. As the bills came in every month, you'll get used to it and accept that in the future, your own life will need you, not hers. Perhaps that is the best thing about long-term care insurance, the peace of mind that it gives to the insurance holder. I mean, the long term care insurance company rating where my mom bought her policy were very good so I can't see the reason why I should be worried


I think you have that so wrong!! Your mother wants to be independent, and I commend her for that attitude. As a child, you should appreciate that on multiple levels, and be able to focus your attention on the emotional support you can give her.


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Re: Long Term Care - Love it or Hate it?

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As a daugther, seeing my mom paying every month lfor her insurance policy is like a silent kick in the gut. It's like she's telling us that we can't take care of her when she's old and frail. As the bills came in every month, you'll get used to it and accept that in the future, your own life will need you, not hers. Perhaps that is the best thing about long-term care insurance, the peace of mind that it gives to the insurance holder. I mean, the long term care insurance company rating where my mom bought her policy were very good so I can't see the reason why I should be worried

I'm a blogger at www.lifeandmess.com for www.completelongtermcare.com, an active member of Red Cross, and an animal volunteer
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