Thinking about Long Term Care Costs
Well the New Year is here and you have been planning ahead with your mom. Last year, dad passed and went to be in God’s Kingdom. Mom is now asking you to help her look at some options to help pay for future expenses. Now is the time to plan for mom. What if she has a health event or just tails off with age and is unable to care for herself? You would love to take her into your home, but that would be impossible with the other demands of life. Life today is active, especially for women aged 45 – 56 who care for both their parents and children. These people are caught in the “sandwich generation” and these columns are focused on issues affecting you.
When dad was ill he was thinking ahead and started gathering information on ways to pay mom’s future living expenses. To help for future expenses mom and dad put $50,000 into a CD to be used for medical and living expenses. Also, dad found an interesting product. It would pay about 50% to 100% of today’s long term care (LTC) types of expenses. Opposed to paying a monthly premium, mom would move the $50,000 CD into this LTC vehicle.
Unlike plans with monthly premiums, this type of plan has four inherent qualities. In an actual example, if mom (now age 65) had a future need qualified LTC, this $50,000 one time payment will pay up to $157,200 over four years. Secondly, it will pay $78,600 upon her death if she does not use other plan benefits. Thirdly, it will pay $7,860 even if she uses all of the LTC benefits and then dies. Fourthly, she can quit and get a portion of her $50,000 back depending upon how long she holds the plan. LTC plans with a monthly premium will pay LTC expenses, but premiums can go up and these plans usually do not provide a death benefit, and premiums are lost if not used or, in most cases, if the policy cancelled.
Mom and dad considered both monthly and a single premium plan and now in mom’s situation this the single premium plan will work well. The money they set aside in the CD to pay for expenses when they were needed can be leveraged and multiplied.
Helping mom and dad and caring for your children simultaneously is not easy. It is very helpful to discuss and plan for reasonable future events, and a sandwich generationer should guide their parent through these issues and the primary issue of safety, while being careful not to take all control away from a parent. Once again, it is important to start talking, making suggestions and guiding early, do not wait for a crisis.
I wish you and yours a very happy and healthy New Year. If you would like a list of “questions to ask in different aspects of care” see our website and look under the “Patient Advocacy Division”,