Poor economy and world events are not the
The economy and world events do have an impact on
savings and future/or current retirement. However, many people fail to protect
their assets from the biggest involuntary risk they face ... the risk of needing
long-term health care.
Clearly, as the war with Iraq winds down, worries about
North Korea's nuclear weapons buildup, and the dark threat of terrorism on
American soil all make for exceptionally nervous markets and an economy, which
could be much better but under these circumstances, could be much worse. Yes,
the economy is better than much of the mainstream media would like to tell you,
but we still have a long road ahead although we are heading in the right
Look at the things that could place your savings and assets at risk. Now, forget
things you can't control. We can't control war or terrorists, for example. We
hope our government will take the correct action to limit our risks.
OK, what does that leave? Your home could burn down. But you should be OK from a financial standpoint since you have homeowners insurance. While the chance of something happening to your home is nil, and we all complain about the cost of homeowners insurance increasing, we all have our homes insured. The average homeowner's insurance claim is $3800.00. We know it could be worse so we have insurance, although the odds are on the insurance company's side.
We have our cars, SUV's, boats and other vehicles insured. Average claim on a vehicle is $3100.00. But, with the risk of liability and total loss of the vehicle we have insurance to protect our assets.
Most of us have health insurance or Medicare if we are 65 and over. Most people's health care claims are for under $50,000 lifetime.
But think, for just a second, what happens if you or a loved one required long-term health care? Perhaps you think your health insurance will pay for it, or Medicare if you happen to be over 65.
Millions of Americans struggle each and every day with serious long-term care issues. And far too many people realize too late that private insurance and Medicare do not cover long-term care, and Medicaid offers only limited options.
"Studies show three out of every five Americans over 65 will need long-term care while, at the same time, we have no comprehensive long-term care system in our nation today. Since healthcare insurance does not cover long-term care, families are forced to either pay out-of-pocket for long-term care or spend down their assets to qualify for Medicaid," said Senator John Breaux (D-La.)
Sen. Breaux, a Democrat from Louisiana, is a ranking member of the Aging Committee and a member of the Finance Health Care Subcommittee and one of Washington's big supporters of long-term care insurance.
"Today’s baby boomers need to factor long-term care into their financial and retirement planning, to better protect their assets and better guarantee their long-term options. When planning for retirement, experts now recommend long-term care insurance — in addition to 401(k) plans and IRAs — to protect financial security in retirement. Long-term care insurance, along with other retirement savings, will help secure assets, offer choices of care, and provide peace of mind for the entire family," said Matt McCann, a long-term care insurance specialist from the Chicago suburb of Darien, Illinois.
McCann knows first hand how long-term care can effect a family, not only from his many clients ... but from a personal experience. His mother went into a nursing home at the age of 59 following a major health event.
The cost of nursing homes can range anywhere from $40,000 to $85,000 a year, depending on where in the country you live. While most home-care will cost a bit less, it is still very expensive and comes out of your own pocket.
But it won't happen to you and if it does you won't go into a nursing home because your family will take care of you. First, it can and may happen to you and you can't do much to prevent it from happening. Demographers suggest that if you reach the age of 50 you will have a 50% chance of needing some form of long-term care during your lifetime.
Second, do you really think your family would want to feed you, wipe you after taking you to the bathroom, bathe you, and do a host of other things that many of us will require help with? They might say they will help but the fact is they are going to have major problems with doing so and most times will end up resenting the parent they wanted to take care of in the first place. Your spouse may be too old to help out (can you imagine your husband or wife lifting you and doing those very personal things for you?). Your kids have jobs and children of their own. Your care may well be 24/7 but your children could never spend 24/7 with you unless they had no life of their own.
Third, do you want to burden your family with this even if they were able and qualified to take care of you?
"The fastest way into a nursing home is a plan that involves your children taking care of you. It never works ... experience shows this over and over again. The end result, the parent ends up into a nursing home much faster unless pre-planning occurs in advance," McCann said.
So the federal government has made it clear; they can't pay for everyone's long-term care needs. Medicare does not pay for long-term care and Medicaid pays only when you spend down your assets. The choice is very clear. The only thing stopping you is denial.
"We have a system today where a person goes into a nursing home, and quickly consumes their life savings," said President George W. Bush.
"The President's budget calls for above-the-line tax deductions of long-term care insurance premiums. This is a major message from the federal government, and they have been saying it since the HIPPA act of 1996, the federal can't pay for everyone's long-term care. Too many people will require care in the future. People must plan now," said McCann.
McCann, who is a national speaker on long-term care issues, says people should look into long-term care insurance long before they retire since premiums are based on age at application and your health determines if you can even purchase the coverage to start with.
Saving for long-term care and retirement simultaneously isn't realistic for most
of us; long-term care insurance offers the smart alternative. Long-term care
insurance can be written to cover various types of care, including nursing home,
home care, assisted living, and respite care. It also doesn't have to cost a lot
What to Look for in a Long-Term Care Insurance Policy?
If you decide you want to buy a policy, McCann suggests to make sure you can answer the following questions:
What daily benefit will you need? The higher the daily benefit, the higher your premium. McCann recommends a benefit of $120 to $180 a day with inflation protection, but you'll need to find the balance between daily benefit and cost for your own situation. Be sure to do some cost comparisons of nursing homes in your area.
How long will benefits last? The typical stay at a nursing home is between three and five years, so make sure your coverage lasts for at least that period. Think about your own family's health history when choosing benefit periods. Have family members traditionally lived to ripe old ages? If so, you may want a longer benefit period. Be careful, however, family history has little to do with your risk of needing care but may have some impact of you having a longer than average stay.
What's the elimination period? The elimination period is comparable to the deductible on your other insurance policies. Your long-term care policy won't begin paying out for a certain number of days. The longer that period is, the cheaper the coverage will be.
Is the benefit inflation protected? Go for the guaranteed annual-inflation increases rather than the opportunity to increase daily benefits down the road. This rider may be more expensive up-front, but you are guaranteed to keep pace with inflation.
Does the policy cover help at home? Some policies will cover the costs of bringing people into your home to help with physical therapy, bathing, dressing, walking, and so on. Make sure the policy doesn't require a prior hospital stay before this benefit is available.
Does the policy cover mental conditions? Sadly, Alzheimer's disease is a reality for many people. Be sure your policy includes all types of dementia. Most companies will cover this, but be sure to ask.
How are premiums waived? A typical policy will waive premiums when you go on claim.
How financially stable is the insurer? Research the financial rating of the company offering the policy. Stick with a company rated "A" or better. Good plans to look at include John Hancock, Transamerica, and Allianz.
Do avoid companies that require their "plan coordinator" to arrange your care. Most good companies have the ability to provide you with a RN who serves as a case manager. This person can recommend and make arrangement for your care. Make sure you can make your own decisions and use providers that you choose.
Also avoid any company that will only pay benefits based on what is "reasonable and customary" in your area. This is the so-called "prevailing expenses" clause. Most
companies will pay you up to the daily benefit you contracted for at the time of care based on the real bill you have. However, companies that have this clause take control of your claim and only pay what they want to pay. You may have a bill for $150.00 and have insurance for a daily benefit, for example, of $140.00. With most companies you would get $140.00 in benefits. But any company with this clause could say that they think the "reasonable" cost in $105.00 and then pay only $105.00 ... leaving you to pay the rest!
Group plans do exist but most offer very limited coverage and much higher prices.
McCann also suggests that you work with an agent who is a specialist in long-term care and who represents many companies.
"Many agents and financial advisors can sell long-term care insurance but really have no clue how policies work and how they are different. Knowing how to set up a plan based on your needs is also very important. So stick with an agent who has this type of experience," McCann says.
Finally, don't wait too long. You can be uninsurable if you already have a serious health problem. The earlier you purchase your policy, the more affordable it will be.
Medical science just gets better so we live longer and longer. Deny this all you want but you are better off planning now. The cost of planning is not that much, check it out now and don't delay. Your family will thank you. Do it now. McCann says the average age of his client is now 54. Plan early and take advantage of your health and youth. In the long-run you will save money and protect your assets from the biggest risk we all face, the risk of needing long-term health care.
Do your financial or retirement plans include protection against long-term care expenses? They should! If you are like most people, you have insured your health, your car, your life, and your home. You have probably worked hard to accumulate assets for your retirement years. But what if you needed long-term care? Long-term care is a risk that can impact or even derail all of your carefully thought out plans. Start planning now.
Discover these great essays in the following folders
Family * Social * War * Freedom * Money *
And then, we have these essays in the GENERAL ESSAYS category which don't seem to fit anywhere in particular:
By Reason Alone.. That Roosevelt can do no wrong is Burroughs's opinion; and that Burroughs is always right is Roosevelt 's opinion. Both are agreed that animals do not reason. They assert that all animals below man are automatons and perform actions only of two sorts 'mechanical and reflex 'and that in such actions no reasoning enters at all. They believe that man is the only animal capable of reasoning and that ever does reason.
No man is an island, is an old saying that was meant to say that no man stood alone, but needed help from others, and gave strength to others. But, here is the story of an island that was a man. In the short history of time, there was one island that was a monument to a single man. It starts out like a fairy tale.. Once upon a time there was a barren island. This almost insignificant little man was sent off to this barren island and turned it into a mirror of his soul and the fulfillment of his vision. One stick at a time he turned his barren island into a work of lasting, world-renowned beauty and peace, an island where the nightingales sang songs of singular wonder ne'er found elsewhere since this little man set down roots on a barren island, and bloomed.
Have you ever noticed that most of man's dreams are based on false assumptions. We dream of loping free with the wolves, but really don't like fleas. We dream of the security that lambs must feel, but don't want to be sheared. We dream of being lions, but gag at eating raw meat. We dream of being loved, but can't see the way or take the time to make ourselves lovable.
Was There EVER A Man On The Moon? How far can reason alone take us from the beaten path of acknowledged history?
A Definition Of History by Leo Tolstoy gives us yet another peg to hang our ratiocinations upon.
Definition of Art?
Charity never faileth, especially when our hearts fill to overflowing with charity.
When Theories fail.. Petty science teachers can rage until doomsday that no two snowflakes are identical, but until every snowflake that has ever fallen or ever shall fall is matched against every other snowflake that has already fallen or ever shall try to fall -- the identical snowflake theory remains just a theory resting on its oars out there in lolly-gagging land.
Deliberate Fraud: Evolutionists resort to the lowest forms of fraud in order to gain more believers. Down and Dirty with Darwin Evolutionists are now feeling so battered that university professors advise their students not to discuss this theory with non-believers. "Sounds like a religious cult to me," say some.
Global Warming freezes thermometers 57 years ago there was this silly theory running through the kitchen that said "the quickest way to freeze ice was to fill the ice trays with boiling water. There are still a few old house wives that believe it works. These days it's the pseudo-scientists that believe global warm winds tearing through the polar regions will make the ice caps freeze solid and start a new ice age!
Man, the Meanie of the Planet. This is a high resolution pdf document so you can print it out and hang it on the wall. Be sure to RIGHT Click the link, and save it to your computer.
Fuzzy Logic Clarified This is another essay you will want to keep handy where you can print it out.
Are we forever Doomed? An essayic poem by Rudyard Kipling
I see Grandpa. He's calling out for me.
God Does Not Fit -- by Lance Nalley
That first day of school
A Break From Boredom -- by Lance Nalley
INVICTUS... Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit, from pole to pole
The gods and Heroes of the Ancient World
Staunch, steadfast, loyal and true. What better friend can a man have?
The House By The Side Of The Road
Friendship, by Ralph Waldo Emerson. A ruddy drop of manly blood The surging sea outweighs, The world uncertain comes and goes, The lover rooted stays. I fancied he was fled, And, after many a year, Glowed unexhausted kindliness Like daily sunrise there. My careful heart was free again, -- O friend, my bosom said, Through thee alone the sky is arched, Through thee the rose is red, All things through thee take nobler form, And look beyond the earth, And is the mill-round of our fate A sun-path in thy worth. Me too thy nobleness has taught To master my despair; The fountains of my hidden life Are through thy friendship fair.
This Web is MY Web
A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
The Moon on Six Pence Uncle Bob was an unforgettable character who traveled the world on bargain rates and golden smiles!
The Almost Good Housekeeping monograph is a good excuse for the harried homemaker to put off until tomorrow all those burdens of yesteryear, and quit trying so hard.
Sex before the Sax: The first thing I learned about Lois was she had a label for being froward. Kids at school said she had had sex with Alfred. Not long after I arrived, another boy came forward to admit he had made a score at her door.
Old Rattler, and the King Snake.
Pleasures of the open fire: The Fireplace Revisited.
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