A Publication of WTVP

If you ask people, many of them will tell you that they are not afraid of dying so much as they may be afraid of living too long. No one looks forward to the time when they are very much alive, but cannot care for themselves. When that time comes, your ability to live as good a life as physically possible will depend on what preparations you make today. Exercise, eat right, stay mentally fit and financially prepared.

People are living longer, which dramatically increases the odds of developing a chronic illness that could require ongoing care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that people who reach age 65 will have a 70-percent chance of needing nursing home level of care. When the day comes that you are unable to do such basic things as dress yourself, get in and out of bed, eat a meal or go to the bathroom alone, you need to be prepared for the costs of paying professional caregivers for the help you need.

As healthcare costs escalate, an increasing number of people are protecting themselves by purchasing long-term care insurance, which typically covers some or all of the costs of care associated with a chronic illness such as Alzheimer’s disease. And today, those costs can be overwhelming. Though Medicare does cover skilled care for acute conditions such as heart attacks and broken bones, in general, it does not cover the custodial care required for chronic medical conditions.

When making your plans for a secure retirement, it’s important to consider long-term care insurance as a way of protecting your assets so they won’t be exhausted by possible care costs. Premiums will be lower if you buy long-term care insurance while in your 40s or 50s, instead of waiting until after you retire and face the health problems that often accompany aging.

There are quite a few factors to consider when choosing a long-term care insurance policy. You will need to ask: When will benefits begin? How much money will I receive? What types of services will the policy pay for, and for how long? How much does this type of insurance cost?

For this reason, it’s important to work with a financial professional who understands your needs and can design a plan that fits them. It’s also important to look at the track record of the company providing the insurance. To ensure that coverage will be there when you need it most, make sure the company is well established with a solid history of treating its policyholders well, and choose a company that has been given the highest possible ratings for financial security from insurance rating agencies.

Long-term care insurance can give you options on how you receive the care you need and where. It gives you choices about how and where your final years are lived out. Maybe, such an insurance policy can even reduce the fear of living too long.

Article prepared by Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Co. with the cooperation of Joshua T. Waite, a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Waite Financial Group, based in Peoria, IL. He is licensed and appointed to sell long-term care insurance for Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Co., Milwaukee, WI, a subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company—Milwaukee, WI. To contact Josh Waite, call (309) 693-0800 or email [email protected]. iBi