06 Oct Are you financially prepared to get older?
As an Insurance Advisor, I will explain the real facts on the future health care of our elderly. I counsel my clients on the importance of including long term care insurance as part of their retirement plan.
You’re probably thinking, “Why would I need long term care insurance? My children will take care of me.” Yes, that may be the case, but have you thought to ask them? What happens if your children are in the “sandwich generation”, meaning they are raising their own children and working long hours? Should they be expected to take care of their aging parents? You may want to move in with one of your children, but how does your daughter/son in-law feel about this? And what happens if you need 24- hour care? Does one quit their job to take care of you?
Long-term care is not necessarily for one year or two towards the end of one’s life. Someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, for example, may require care for 10 years or more. A person diagnosed with a non- life- threatening condition like multiple sclerosis in their 50s could live for decades in a good long-term care facility and withstand a better chance of staying independent and enjoying those years.
- By 2011 our population of elderly will be almost 25% of the population.
- Currently, 17% are over 65 years of age.
- In 2010 we have as many seniors as children.
According to an article in the Vancouver Sun, ”Before Jan 31, 2010 the amount a senior had to pay in long term care was based on an 11-step grid ranging from $940 to $2,260 a month, depending on their income.
As of Jan. 31 2010, everyone in residential care will instead pay 80 percent of their annual income to a maximum of $2,932 a month. Most will also be allowed to keep $275 a month.”
Times Colonist columnist Jody Paterson.
What can we expect from the government when it comes to long term care?:
- Extended wait times of 2-3 years
- Over crowded and the need for upgraded facilities
- No or limited choice of location
- Continued reduction of services
Do you have medically trained family members who are willing and able to quit their jobs and provide you with constant care? If not and you decide to pay for private home care or facility care you will deplete your retirement savings in a few short years. Here are some facts:
- Home care costs range from $30-$50/hour depending on services and government funding is based on your annual income.
- Government facilities are also based on your annual income to maximum of $2932/month.
- Private facilities range from $2500 to $7000+ per month, per person, not per couple.
If you are between the ages of 30 and 80, you can apply for long term care insurance. Depending on the level of benefit you select, you can receive up to $300 per day – tax free!
It’s better to choose where you want to go…rather than be taken where you have to go!