Paying for Long Term care

  1. what do you think? one of the previous topics prompted me to start this thread. as we age and hopefull expect to live longer lives, eventually we may get ill and require some facility or at home care.

    do you think we should be expected to contribute towards our medical and long term care needs? a lot of people will probably answer yes at first. but what if this means selling off your assets? personally, sure i would love to be able to keep everything i have and let insurance pay but i know that realistically this is not possible.
    insurance sure doesn't cover it all now so i don't expect it to cover it in the future.

    in my readings and in my job, it seems that pt's are angry when they realize they have to actually pay towards long term care. i don't feel we should pay it all but should definitely plan in advance to contribute partially.
    long term insurance--good idea...



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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   lauralassie
    funny you should bring this up now. we just started looking at long term care plans. my husband and i are 47 now. my mom and dad are in their 80's and long term care insurance has worked out well for them. but, on the other hand i do tend to feel a little slighted and confused. my mom and dad are from scotland (live in ohio). over seas seniors are treated very well, they get all meds free, they can travel free on buses, their med care is free. although, people in scotland also do not have the stuff, that americans do and , they pay much higher taxes through their life time than we. so i think? it actually evens out in some odd way. with good long term care insurance we can go to pretty nice facilities, in scotland, seniors must go to run of the mill facilities,(they are taken care of very well but they arn't fancy) if they want really nice places they must pay extra. my aunt stays at home (she lives in gourock , scotland) a care giver comes 4 times a day to help her get up , fix breakfast dressed etc... then they come back about 1400 for her tea ! :smiletea: i think that is just wounderful, funny but wounderful. after all a scott can not live without their tea !:smiletea2: (she is on the standard senior care-nothing special) so in colnclusion, who the heck knows !
    Last edit by lauralassie on Jan 23, '07
  4. by   Jules A
    First I'd say that I think everyone should have a LTC policy and I would hope that it pays for a majority of medical expenses. However if you are going to a LTC facility it makes sense to me that you should use your resources to augment what insurance doesn't cover.

    I find it a bit weird when people get so freaked out about having to use what they feel is their kids inheritence. Personally I don't think that leaving money for your kids who hopefully have been raised to be independent and able to secure their own income should be a major concern at that difficult time in your life.

    Just my two cents of course.
  5. by   llg
    I bought long-term care insurance about 2 years ago, when I was 49 years old. I believe it is my obligation to pay for myself it at all possible. If that means sacrificing a few luxeries now to pay for the premiums, then that is part of my obligation.

    Many years ago I had a good friend who resented the fact that her parents were slowly spending their savings to support themselves in the last years of their lives. She wanted an inheritance -- and therefore wanted the taxpayers to pay her parents' expenses. I told her (kindly), "Look, your father worked and your mother economized all their lives in order to save that money to take care of themselves in their old age. This is what all that working and saving was for. If they were destitute, I would not mind giving them charity ... but they're not. I do not think MY taxes should be raised so that you can buy a new boat with an inheritance." She stopped complaining to me after that.

    Many of us would like to leave an inheritance for those we leave behind. Sure: I understand that because I do too. But more than that, I want to take care of myself and not be a burden to my family or to society in general. That's why I put saving for retirement and investing in a long-term care policy higher on my list of financial priorities than buying a fancy car, taking an expensive vacation, redecorating my home, etc. Those are things I would LIKE to to with any extra money I have -- but providing myself with the basics of life for ALL of my life is something I feel I NEED to do.

    I'm sorry I sound grouchy in this post. I'm just kind'a grouchy today.
  6. by   Jules A
    Quote from llg
    I bought long-term care insurance about 2 years ago, when I was 49 years old. I believe it is my obligation to pay for myself it at all possible. If that means sacrificing a few luxeries now to pay for the premiums, then that is part of my obligation.

    Many years ago I had a good friend who resented the fact that her parents were slowly spending their savings to support themselves in the last years of their lives. She wanted an inheritance -- and therefore wanted the taxpayers to pay her parents' expenses. I told her (kindly), "Look, your father worked and your mother economized all their lives in order to save that money to take care of themselves in their old age. This is what all that working and saving was for. If they were destitute, I would not mind giving them charity ... but they're not. I do not think MY taxes should be raised so that you can buy a new boat with an inheritance." She stopped complaining to me after that.

    Many of us would like to leave an inheritance for those we leave behind. Sure: I understand that because I do too. But more than that, I want to take care of myself and not be a burden to my family or to society in general. That's why I put saving for retirement and investing in a long-term care policy higher on my list of financial priorities than buying a fancy car, taking an expensive vacation, redecorating my home, etc. Those are things I would LIKE to to with any extra money I have -- but providing myself with the basics of life for ALL of my life is something I feel I NEED to do.

    I'm sorry I sound grouchy in this post. I'm just kind'a grouchy today.
    :yeahthat:
  7. by   skipaway
    I bought LTC insurance at age 44. Yes, many say too young, but I'm obese and have had in the past, back problems (no problems now for 10 yrs). I'm afraid LTC insurance will go the way of disability insurance. I can't get private DI b/c of the above issues and only have what work offers. If LTC insurance starts taking only "healthy" people, I'd never get it. So, while it's offered, I took it. My workplace offered a 5% discount on the premiums so I opted to get it now. I'm saving for my retirement but I feel it in my best interest to have whatever supplemental insurance I can get. I am not at all worried about leaving money behind. I have worked and saved hard so far and it's not so I can leave it to my "heirs."
  8. by   jjjoy
    Long term care insurance makes sense to cover extended illnesses or rehab. You can recover from a drastic illness or accident without having to spend down all of your assets to receive the care you need to recover. I don't see how it addresses the bigger issue of the growing health care expenses that most accrue as one gets older. Expenses go up, up, up and the ability to make money goes down.

    Isn't the bigger problem if you end up needing a substantial amount of care indefinitely, for years, maybe decades? LTC insurance can't cover such costs indefinitely. Unless you've got a great pension plan (and who gets those anymore?), you're going to burn through your savings if you've got to pay for round-the-clock caregivers or a nursing home.

    Individually, LTC insurance might help someone keep their assets if their needs don't go on too long. On a societal level, we still have to deal with how to pay for the expensive on-going health care needs of the elderly (and others with expensive long-term health care needs).

    I do think it's only fair to require individuals to spend down their assets before qualifying for major government-funded on-going health care. I agree that taxpayers don't need to subsidize other people's inheritances. On the other hand, I'm willing to pay taxes into a system that helps those without even if I'm lucky enough to never have to access that help. Cuz I might be unlucky and I hope to have such services available to me.
  9. by   romie
    I am always amazed at how people are resentful of having to pay for LTC out of pocket by spending down their assets. I am even more amazed when the adult children of LTC private pay residents who are managing mom or dad's money get upset everytime they write a check, as if that was their money in the first place! Is it really fair that even more taxes are taken out of my pay so that they can use their parent's money to buy themselves a new car or plasma TV instead of paying for the very expensive professional services of nurses and expensive medical equipment?

    One time at my facility a woman passed away and let me tell you how thrilled her son was, because she did not have the chance to spend down her assets completely and still had around$100K left. While the staff was grieving and saying to him, "we're so sorry for your loss", this guy was smiling and practically leaping with joy at all of the money he got. Sick, sick sick!
  10. by   prowlingMA
    I those who can reasonablly afford it should get LTC issurence. Working in LTC I saw too many come in with totally no personal posetion because they had to sell everything to afford care, and too many be " shippied out" to lower cost LTC because they couldn't afford to stay.

    But that brings up the whole arguemnet of LTC being so expensive. One ALF I worked for cost $5,000+ a month and that wasn't even skilled care.
  11. by   jjjoy
    How much would LTC insurance help in the long term if you need on-going care? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but unless you got better or died within the time frame of your policy coverage, wouldn't you still be stuck having to sell everything to continue covering your costs? Or it might end up that your daily costs are more than you anticipated, the insurance doesn't cover it all and you can't afford the difference for a long time.
    Last edit by jjjoy on Jan 23, '07
  12. by   llg
    Quote from jjjoy
    How much would LTC insurance help in the long term if you need on-going care? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but unless you got better or died within the time frame of your policy coverage, wouldn't you still be stuck having to sell everything to continue covering your costs? Or it might end up that your daily costs are more than you anticipated, the insurance doesn't cover it all and you can't afford the difference for a long time.
    Of course, no policy (within reason) can guarantee unlimited coverage for life. However, few people need long-term care for many years. The idea is that, by having sufficient insurance along with Social Security, you will be able to spend little or none of your own money for the life of the policy -- allowing your retirement savings to grow significantly. With that growth of your savings, the interest your savings will earn, when combined with Social Security will pay most of your expenses after the policy expires.

    Your savings goal should be large enough so that you can live off the EARNINGS/INTEREST of those savings and withdraw no more than 2 or 3% of the principle per year. Not everyone can save that much. A LTC policy gives those people a chance to have enough help during the life of their policy so that their savings can grow -- thus enabling them to get better yield in the long run.

    Of course, my goal is to have both -- the large retirement nest egg plus the insurance to provide a cushion if and when I need it.

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