Do You Need Long Term Care Insurance?
The cost of healthcare in general is a big concern for those approaching retirement. And if you’re not prepared for it, the cost of long term care is downright shocking. But, will you need long term care insurance?
Here are a few facts:
- 70 percent of people over 65 will need some form of long-term care at some point
- For married couples, the chance that one spouse will need long-term care rises to 91 percent
- People living alone are more likely to need some sort of home health care
- Women usually outlive men, making them more likely to live alone and need some sort of healthcare
“For Baby Boomers, long-term care insurance is a must,” says Manhattan attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza. “We can no longer rely upon Medicaid to cover custodial type care. Every year, eligibility for Medicaid gets tougher. In 2006, the so-called “look-back period” was extended from three to five years,” she says. During that period, the government can check to see if you have sheltered or given away assets — and if you have, it triggers a penalty period when you’re ineligible for government aid. And, she warns, Medicare only covers up to 100 days of rehabilitation following hospitalization. “Beyond that —nothing!”
The Employee Benefit Research Institute says the average retirement shortfall for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers is nearly $50,000. But that rises dramatically when you add expenses like home healthcare or nursing homes. For married households it increases by $25,317. There is an average increase of $32,433 for single males. And, for single females, it rises as much as $46,425.
Retirement is expensive – that’s why it takes so long to get there. When you have so many other things to spend your money on, it can be tempting to overlook long term health insurance. However, it would be wise to consider the costs now versus later. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!