Time To Update Long Term Care Expectations? Insurance?

Time To Update Long Term Care Expectations? Insurance?

It’s been over 20 years since I looked at the studies about the need for long term care services. I was a New York Life agent way back when, and selling a relatively new product called long term care insurance.

What I learned from 1980’s data and studies was that there was a one in three chance we would need money for long term care services.

For men, in the area of going to the nursing home, they had an average length of stay around six months. For women, it was four years.

Fast forward to now. Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research published a report this November (2014) detailing the latest research on the need and cost of long term care.

Here’s my summary:

  • Men stay in a nursing home longer now (from six to nine months)
  • Women stay much shorter (from four years to sixteen months)
  • People are spending less for nursing home care because of shorter stays
  • People are going back home to recover or enter hospice home care

So what does that mean to you and I? We need to re-look at the need and amount of long term care insurance. Do we even need to buy it?

The new studies cited by the Boston College center showed that 50% of men stayed less than three months in a nursing home while 39% of women were staying less than three months. In most cases, Medicare was paying for these stays.

Do you need to make wholesale changes, or drop your policy(ies)? I don’t think so, but it’s worth a look at your savings since you purchased the product, and your living situation may have changed, facilitating home care or recovery.

I’d sure like to save over $300 a month in premium payments. How about you?

Here’s the link to the study report.

Jim Ludwick
Jim Ludwick

Jim Ludwick is the founder of MainStreet Financial Planning. His varied education and life experiences have enabled him to apply his knowledge and experience into useful solutions for personal financial problems. His writing and broadcasting activities allow him to help many more than just individual clients. He loves a microphone.

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