Friday, December 21, 2012

Make a New Year Resolution

If you are reading this it means the Mayans were wrong and the world did not end. 

Is that anything like the "Fiscal Cliff"?  Probably not.  That's the good news. 

Of course now you have one less excuse as to why you have not taken responsibility for your future long term care needs.  This time of year our thoughts are on family, friends, holiday celebrations, followed by New Year Resolutions. 

Here is one to consider:  Plan now to not be a burden on all of those folks you are spending quality time with this week and next.  Using one of our long term care insurance plans will make it possible for you to leave a legacy to your loved ones or a charity while assuring you of getting the best care where you choose.  Most folks want to stay at home when they are unable to care for themselves.
Fact Check: The cost to receive care at home ranges from $3,000 - $20,000  per month.  Would you rather have that check come from the insurance policy as tax free dollars or from your hard earned savings after taxes?  Even my clients that have incomes and savings in the top 1% understand that is better to leverage their money and they choose to insure. 

Procrastination is a terrible affliction.  You will never be younger or healthier than you are today.  Tomorrow any change in health could make you instantly uninsurable.  The time is now to do the responsible thing.  Schedule to meet with a licensed LTC professional and get informed.  Then you will have all the facts. You know that a responsible, informed adult can make a better decision in the New Year.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

How will the election affect my ability to get long term care?

I have been asked this question by everyone I met this week. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on advertising messages and no one is any clearer on the important issues.
Folks, the changes that will be coming due to the PPACA (Obama Care) will reduce funding for Medicare and Medicaid. More of the cost will be shifted to States and individuals. This makes the decision to plan for your future needs even more important. For those who think of themselves as conservatives, the watchword is self reliance. If you have not secured LTC insurance how will you be "self reliant".
Dave Ramsey, a nationally sydicated writer and radio host recently addressed the question of long term care insurance. He advised that unless you can fund 20 years of care for you and your spouse out of savings, get the insurance. Today one year of care runs $30 - $100,000. In the next 15 years it could easily double.  Most of the population will experience signifigant health changes before they turn 60.  I assert that you need to address this in your 40's and 50's while you still can health qualify.  Don't sit and sulk about it.  Do something.  Call an expert and get educated so that you can decide how to best prepare for your future. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

What me plan? I am still young and healthy!

In the October issue of the Health Insurance Underwriter, I noticed an article about how younger adults are not only purchasing long term care insurance but are also needing to use it.  Many of the folks that I speak with tend to ignore the possibility of a more current need and have only considered needing long term care as an end of life experience. 
This is contrary to our experiences.  I have family and friends that have needed care for 6 months or longer and then recovered.  They went on with their lives and some needed care again years later.  As young active adults, our need for care is typically due to unforeseen and immediate events such as car collisions, motorcycle accidents, or being thrown from a horse. 
The article quoted a study by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) about how 20 and 30 year olds fortuitously purchased policies and then needed to use them within just a few years.  We all know someone that needed care at a young age; but do you know what their family went through to take care of them?  The cost when the medical insurance stopped?  Who had to quit their job to stay and be the care giver?  Medical insurance pays for acute care but will not pay for someone to care for you at home.  Disability insurance is salary replacement.  That pays for your mortgage, electricity, and groceries.  Who pays for someone to care for you at home or at rehab when your medical insurance stops?
Shoudn't we all be optimistic about our future health and longevity?  Absolutely!  Medical science and a healthy lifestyle will prolong our lives.  We should also plan for needing some care along the way.  You never expect your home to burn down or your roof to blow off but you would not go a single day without home insurance.  Why would you risk your savings and your family on a more probable catastrophic event?  Your need for care.
Get informed and protect yourself.  For a free copy of my booklet click HERE

Friday, September 2, 2011

Worksite Education Pays Dividends

Many businesses have been challenged by the economy and with their benefits.  Everyone has felt the pinch as medical insurance and the cost of medical care have increased.  Small business owners are seeking ways to attract & retain their top employees.  The best way to protect tax deferred savings is to educate employees about long term care planning options.  I have been holding workshops for employers and employees so they may learn the best way to protect their families and also, for the employer, how to protect productivity.  Several benefit brokers have enlisted my help to bring new solutions to their clients without impacting the budget.  They are not waiting for Health Care Reform to change their business.  We are taking a proactive approach to help employers get ahead without busting the budget.  To learn more send an email to
It was a pleasure working with you.  Thank you for walking us through the process.  We feel very comfortable about our decision to get long term care insurance.   Susan M.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This has definitely been a year of changes for many of us. I like to start the year with a plan to improve on the last one. Besides the usual proclamations I am finding that folks are concerned about retaining their independence and not being a burden on family. My clients tell me that they do not want to be dependent on government plans for their retirement or care. I have included a link to a short video that addresses planning. After all if you read any of my previous posts, we are all better off with a plan than without one. Here is the link to the video. Let me know what you think. Just compy and paste in the browser.
I have also included a link below to the book Dignity for Life: 5 Things You Should Know Before Considering Long Term Care Insurance and an insert on the Class Act.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I just read a posting from columnist Terry Savage and felt that anyone visiting this blog could also benefit from her comments and her book.

Her weekly syndicated column is "The Savage Truth on Money" and she is a book author too.

On Saturday, October 10, 2009 she was answering a typical question.
Q: Do I really need to think about long-term care insurance? Her answer was a bit long but to give this important subject it's proper perspective she gave her opinion and backed it up with facts. Here it is:
A: Headline: Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reduced Medicare funding for nursing homes by an estimated $16 billion over the next 10 years. Twenty-four states already have reduced Medicaid funding this year. And $313 billion of additional cuts have been proposed by the administration to fund health care reform.
Message: Don't count on the government to take care of you in your old age! They're already running out of money -- long before the boomers begin to retire. Remember when boomers hit school age and were squashed into modular classrooms? As boomers age, you'll see crowded, modular nursing home rooms -- perhaps a final use for those old FEMA trailers! This is serious, a real warning.
Answer: Consider long-term care insurance now!
The cost of long-term custodial care is the most devastating thing that could happen to your retirement plans -- even worse than a bear market. Yet it is the thing we least want to think about. And boomers haven't been forced to confront this reality, because our parents are living longer, with new hips, knees and heart valves. But eventually, we will all wear out!
This kind of "custodial care" is not covered by Medicare or supplements, although they do cover a limited amount of "skilled" nursing home care after a period of hospitalization. But custodial care means help doing basic activities, such as bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting. This year, it costs nearly $80,000 on average to provide full-time custodial care, at home or in a nursing facility.
Long-term care insurance is not necessarily about nursing homes. In fact, if you have either enough money or insurance against the cost of care, you could get care at home or in your choice of an assisted living facility.
But if you cannot pay for your care, the alternative that Medicaid offers is becoming less and less appealing. Most government-funded care is provided in nursing facilities, not in your home. Those are the places where funding is being cut.
Claude Thau is a long-term care insurance expert who helped create policies offered by some major insurance companies and now helps insurance brokers understand the products. Thau says: "Nursing homes are extremely anxious because of recent reductions in Medicare and Medicaid payments to them, along with the administration's stated intent to squeeze them further to finance health care reform. We can expect nursing homes to lay off staff, cut services, convert to nongovernment funding sources and/or close their doors."
This is reality, not just a "pitch" for long-term care insurance sales. Notes Thau: "LTC insurance is increasingly valuable to be able to cover the cost of quality home care and quality facility care from providers that do not rely upon government subsidies."
In other words, if you want choice of care, you must be able to pay for it!
While full coverage for long-term care is expensive, there are newer policies that will at least contribute to the cost of your care, perhaps for only two or three years of coverage. There are discounts for spouses, or policies that cover both spouses, designed to lower the premiums. It's worth investigating.
There are so many details to this kind of insurance that I devoted an entire section of my latest book -- "The NEW Savage Number" -- to the subject. You can find it now in paperback at bookstores, the library or on my Website,
This is not about selling books -- or insurance! It is about protecting my readers against the devastating costs of long-term care. The message is aimed not only at older boomers, but the younger ones who won't want to place Mom or Dad in a Medicaid-funded nursing home.
And this is especially a woman's issue -- because women live longer, likely alone, and need not only the money, but the "concierge" services to find and schedule caregivers, included with most of these long-term care insurance policies.
I've put my money where my mouth is -- purchasing policies for my parents and myself. I hope it's a huge waste of money -- and that no one I love needs that kind of care. But hope is no substitute for planning. And that's The Savage Truth.
Thank you Terry for the non-political answer to a tough question.