New, Creative Ways to Protect Your Future
Since I began the phase of my life in long-term care insurance, the industry has made some dramatic and very positive changes. The policies available years ago were not flexible, and had very few options from which to choose. Since then, my job has become easier because the products are much more consumer friendly.
The traditional policies being sold today have a tremendous amount of benefits options allowing you to actually design a plan that suits your financial and emotional needs. Some of the policies sold today allow the policy to pay family members to be the caregivers. Some pay cash benefits in addition to help pay for things like additional medications, etc. Most of them will pay for modifications to your home to allow you to stay at home if you wish. The majority of the companies will sell to folks up to age 79, however, recently, a few have extended the issue ages to 84. Considering the good health and longevity of today, I think that was a smart idea.
There are also some more creative and less conventional policies that allow for a “money back” guarantee, if you don’t need them. These policies pay a death benefit if you never need to use the long-term care options on the policy. The plan is issued with total guarantees and assures the family that the money placed in the plan will generate an instant and much larger death benefit immediately. Then if you use the Long-Term Care benefit, there is a small residual death benefit. If you have the lump sum payment to initiate the policy, it is the best way to protect against the financial impact of a Long Term Care problem. There are even annuities that have provisions for Long-Term Care built into the policy should you need them. Today, flexibility is the key.
When we work with a client, we listen. It is important that you tell me what you would like to accomplish, and then I will review the plans, make spread sheet pricing comparisons, and then select the right fit for your personal situation.
Regardless of the product we select for you….the best fit….your age, health and lifestyle can make a big difference in the premium outcome. It is less expensive to buy these products when you are younger; however, it means you will pay the premiums longer. If you take the risk and wait until you are older, you also take the risk of uninsurability and pricier premiums. Since all polices include waiver of premium, the premiums are stopped once you activate the policy. The idea is that older people will pay higher premiums because they will pay for fewer years.
Regardless of the type of policy you choose, the most important thing is to act sooner than later. Planning ahead is always the prudent approach. There is no cost to becoming more educated about this type of insurance. As we age, Long-Term Care insurance is the most important planning tool there is. It will provide peace of mind for you and your family members. You will never regret taking the first step towards future financial independence.
This article was submitted by Rosemarie Hurley, President of Senior Insurance Solutions, who has worked in the senior healthcare market for over 20 years. She can be reached at (239) 274-6678 in Estero, or www.longtermcareinsurance-online.com