Years ago, I read a poem called “When I’m an Old Lady and Live with my Kids.” Let’s call it a kind of humorous ‘revenge rhapsody.’ It had a truly profound effect on me. But I didn’t find it so funny. Nobody dreams of ending up at their kid’s house, being dependent on them physically or financially. The poem began a journey to educate and tell the story, particularly from a women’s perspective, of our aging process and how the choices we make affect how we end up in the later stages of our lives.
Women need and use Long-Term Care services 1.7 times more than men. Why? We live longer and are much more complex-surprise! The story begins with our reproductive system and ends with our longer lifespan.
These facts are real:
- 66% of your care is given by your family members, mostly spouses and daughters equating to 30 billion hours/year.
- 22 billion hours are performed by your family who have FULL-TIME Jobs
- This equates to a 40-hour work week if you need help with at least 2 Activities of Daily Living (bathing, dressing, toileting, continence, transferring and eating)
- 44% say it interferes with their lifestyle causing emotional conflict between family members
- 58% say it adds financial pressures
- The toll on family caregivers is also well documented
The fear of depleting assets is also real and quite stunning. With the cost of Long-Term Care services growing at a rapid rate of 5% annually, well above inflation, homecare services in Chicagoland today average $53,196/annually while nursing home care averages $102,200. Women’s average care need is 3.7 years so plan on earmarking minimally $150,000 to $375,000 today. Remember this is average and we have not spoken about dementia, lasting longer and requiring additional financial resources to manage.
This is the largest fear I see with all of my clients and colleagues: running out of money. The uncertainty of where you can end up if you are not fully protected and insured.
15 years ago, I was offering a corporate Long-Term Care program that did not ask medical questions to qualify, you just needed to be actively at work. I met a woman, Rachel, in her fifties, who just the week prior was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and jumped at the opportunity to purchase the coverage. She was an HR executive for a middle market company. She was making a great living in the 6 figures. She was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to sustain her current levels of work and salary with her new disease.
I watched her decline over the next 8 years. She had to leave her career. Then, she began needing help with the simple activities of daily living (ADL’s-the definition to trigger a LTC benefit).
Rachel needed help with bathing and dressing, taking the most time for any caregiver. Today she spends her time on just surviving. Luckily, she has a Long-Term Care policy that pays the costs of these daily services, initially in her home and today in a nursing home.
Long-Term Care (LTC) policies take the financial worry away and allow focus on managing your illness. It pays the daily cost of care up to the benefit purchased, grows the benefit amount to keep pace with inflation and allows choice of where to receive the best care, in your own home or in a care facility.
This type of policy has been a miracle for my friend and client. I know that this is not where people fantasize about spending their hard-earned money, but is essential in planning properly for your future calm and care.
Connect with us if you’d like to explore your own personal situation and aspirations for independence now and in your later years. We are here for you.
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