Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

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Taking the long view

You may have heard already that OPM plans to hold an open season this spring for the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program.

And if you’re like most Americans, you probably won’t sign up for it.

Most financial advisors recommend looking at LTC insurance about the time you turn 50 or so. That’s because the annual premiums you lock in rise as you get older.

Insurance is something nobody wants to have to use. LTC insurance ain’t cheap, and these days healthcare/insurance dollars are stretched thin for most people.

At the same time, a lot of folks who eventually find themselves needing long-term care later in life are unpleasantly surprised when they find out that long-term care is not covered by their health insurance and/or Medicare.

Many people figure they’ll chance it and rely on their savings and investments to cover any LTC costs. But the cost of an extended period of care can quickly wipe out those resources.

So let’s take a quick survey: Have you considered the need for long-term care as part of your financial planning?

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Feb 01, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Fri, Feb 4, 2011 Barbara Maryland

I highly recommend LTC. I had 3 family member situations where one had LTC and the others did not. And believe me when I tell you that disbility does not happen to just old people. Also, just because one hopes to die because of an illness does not make it so ... unless maybe if you commit suicide. I had a family member who was diagnosed with a debilitating illness that in her 30's. She passed away in her mid-40's. Immediate and extended family cared for her but it was a major struggle. Another family member had a severe stroke at 54. His spouse had to quit work to care for him because she could not afford to pay for care. Now they're about to lose their house. On the other hand, the family member who had LTC was striken with Alzheimers at 56. His spouse was able to care for him in the beginning but as the disease grew worse, she was able to put him in a private assisted-living facility. The cost was $3,000 a month but because of the LTC along with annuity, she was able to make the payments. I highly recommend LTC if you can afford it.

Thu, Feb 3, 2011 San Diego, California

It is irresponsible to not purchase LTC insurance. Expensive? Yes. Until our Supreme Court allows the personal choice of assisted death in a painless and comfortable way, you just may end up where none of us wants to be and that is having someone else take care of you until you die. Our mother purchased LCT insurance and we are forever grateful as it paid well over $300,000 in benefits before our dear Mother died. Did Mother want to live in a nursing facility? Of course not. But it happens. We are living longer. Our kids will be older when our time comes. Can you lift your family member from bed to chair to toilet? For those who espouse bravado, think again. Do the decent thing for your family and purchase insurance. I did. I understand its value.

Thu, Feb 3, 2011 tb

Lock in price is only good for the contract duration. Many of us that subscribed when this first came out had a recent increase in price for the same coverage, or an option to decrease coverage.

Thu, Feb 3, 2011

After reading these commments, I think I'm more
confused than ever. Someone needs to simplify
the facts and define the pro's and con's in
some kind of comparison model. STILL don't
know if I want to purchase LTC.

Wed, Feb 2, 2011 Will K Menlo Park, CA

I recently turned 60 and decided against LTC because if I have a health condition where I need LTC, I'd rather not be alive. It may be hard to accept, but death is inevitable. I intend to stay healthy as long as possible and then go quickly.

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