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Long-Term Care

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Separating Long Term Care Insurance Myths from Realities
By Kenneth Schulman, CLTC

(Page 2 of 4)

During the past 19 years, Iíve found that the majority of people quickly understand the value of retirement planning and are able to calculate their life insurance needs. Yet, the concept of long-term care insurance protection is more challenging, since people canít predict when the need for long-term care will arise, how long it will be needed, and what the most suitable care will be. By breaking the review process into manageable parts, Iíve found it easier to gain a better understanding of the emotional and objective aspects of the decision process and overcome some of the myths.

Itís An Emotional Decision

Several emotions drive the decision to investigate long-term care planning. Understanding these underlying emotional forces help when itís time to guide decision-making thought processes. When meeting with clients, the first conversation point is a reality check: a discussion of family members or close friends who have required long-term care. Iíve found that everybody knows somebody close to them or has a close personal friend who has senile dementia, Alzheimerís or another debilitating ailment. As we all get older and live longer, this occurrence is more commonplace than ever before.

I try to help people realize that long-term care planning and insurance protection is a way for a family to stay focused on the emotional needs of the family member who needs care instead of worrying about a financial burden.

Plans Made Today Will Have a Broad Impact on the Future, Family and Workplace. According to the US Census Bureau (2002), by 2020, the 65 years and older segment is projected to exceed 53 million. This trend indicates an ever-increasing reality that more people will need care than the health care system will be able accommodate.

Well-intentioned families are taking the brunt of the care demands upon themselves Ė or at least delegating it to one member. In fact, a 2004 ďCaregiving in the U.S.Ē study by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, reported that an estimated 44.4 million American caregivers age 18 and older provide unpaid care to an adult age 18 or older. Almost six in 10 (59 percent) of these caregivers either work or have worked while providing care. And 62 percent have had to make some adjustments to their work life, from reporting late to work to giving up work entirely.

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