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Do single and/or childfree people need LTC?
Old 01-21-2019, 02:42 PM   #1
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Do single and/or childfree people need LTC?

Curious of your thoughts on this. . .


Back to add a link to an article that says maybe not.



https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidra.../#5facd0857d69
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:01 PM   #2
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Whether deserved or not, the reputation of Medicaid paid LTC is not good.
Visit some facilities and decide for yourself if you want to be an inmate there.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:07 PM   #3
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As a childfree single I have a very basic policy. It is $100 per day for three years. The annual premium is just under $550. This was a group benefit that I was allowed to keep when I retired. It includes in home care. I look at this like social security, it is a basic safety-net.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:11 PM   #4
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pjm-7 - Are you not concerned about inflation?

I have a policy but it has inflation options.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badatmath View Post
Curious of your thoughts on this. . .


Back to add a link to an article that says maybe not.



https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidra.../#5facd0857d69
Ummm...

Could you give us an idea of what this is about? Maybe a summary and a quote or two?
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:39 PM   #6
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I think the real decision --and need-- is less about LTC vs needing to have someone who can direct your care and look after your affairs, which LTC doesn't pay for anyway.

(Spoken as a widowed childless someone who expects to self insure.)
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:52 PM   #7
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LTC may be needed to protect the surviving spouse. It’s not necessarily about protecting heirs.

You have to look at what might happen if LTC costs might eat too far into the nest egg, leaving the surviving spouse in a bad financial situation. If it looks like your nest egg couldn’t handle that type of assault you might want to consider an LTC insurance policy.
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:44 PM   #8
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From the article: According to the Boston College study estimates, the wealthiest 19% of single men and 31% of single women should invest in LTC coverage

So, how would I know I am in that wealthiest 19% who would benefit from getting a policy? And, I didn't see anywhere in the article mentioning optimum age range for getting a policy. I'm sure that would matter
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:48 PM   #9
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From the article: According to the Boston College study estimates, the wealthiest 19% of single men and 31% of single women should invest in LTC coverage

So, how would I know I am in that wealthiest 19% who would benefit from getting a policy? And, I didn't see anywhere in the article mentioning optimum age range for getting a policy. I'm sure that would matter
I thought the general consensus was that if you are truly "wealthy" (as well as perhaps unconcerned with leaving an estate) that making the bet on LTC insurance isn't really a winner right now?
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Old 01-21-2019, 04:54 PM   #10
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I thought the general consensus was that if you are truly "wealthy" (as well as perhaps unconcerned with leaving an estate) that making the bet on LTC insurance isn't really a winner right now?
Agreed - the weathiest folks dont need a policy, its the mid-level net worth folks who probably need one to protect a spouse and/or heirs.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:48 PM   #11
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As a childfree single I have a very basic policy. It is $100 per day for three years. The annual premium is just under $550. This was a group benefit that I was allowed to keep when I retired. It includes in home care. I look at this like social security, it is a basic safety-net.
Well, it's a start. Most places can cost twice that much, or more. How old are you now? My concern is that as you get closer to the age where you might need it, the annual premium will likely rise much faster than inflation, and benefits may be reduced. Does your policy have a waiting period?
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:58 PM   #12
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The author mentioned his great grandmother, who needed ten years of care. He didn't mention what a policy would cost today, which would actually cover ten years of care. (Obviously most people wouldn't use that much, but LTC insurance is a moving target, with the protections decreasing and the costs increasing.)

Even if we were able to qualify for LTCI (DH might, me no) if I were to die first, DH would throw the next bill straight in the trash.

I am considering a late in life, joint and survivor annuity, which would not cover LTC, but which would assist/ add to the base monthly income.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:51 PM   #13
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I'm single with no children, not in the top 20% of income, and I pay for a good, flexible policy that allows for a variety of scenarios (care at home, assisted living, nursing facility, etc.). I am hoping that if necessary my nieces and I will find a really nice facility. I want to have some say, and I don't want to burden them. I have the actual LTC insurance, not a life insurance policy - I'm not concerned with leaving money to heirs and I AM concerned about getting the most benefits for my buck. Of course, if I don't use it, I've paid all these years for nothing, BUT, that's what insurance is all about, right? I was shown some of those whole life policies, and they were much more expensive and paid fewer benefits, with the tradeoff being you or your heirs would get some guaranteed money back. That's not my concern.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:24 PM   #14
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Well the article was about single people and/or people in general needing LTC. . .

Since singles by definition do NOT have a surviving spouse to protect, I posed the question. I have to admit I bought mine as a benefit thru the employer and never asked why/if I needed it. Stupid I guess, but it was cheap then and is still relavitely so.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:24 PM   #15
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Jeanie and I both have LTC policies, bought long ago, with no inflation clause, $100/day for 3 years. This would pay about 1/2 of our costs.

The cost of Long Term Care varies widely... our CCRC costs are probably at the lower end. This link goes to the actual current costs for LTC as well as independent living, assisted living, nursing home, and Alzheimer care. Other posts on the thread give some varying prices in other locales.

Sharing 23 years of Frugal Retirement (Post 444)

The emphasis on "single person" means a lot. Given the national averages for net worth for older persons, even a few years in LTC could seriously leave a surviving partner in dire financial straits.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:27 PM   #16
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I'm not overly concerned about inflation or future costs. I see this policy as a floor. I have two small pensions and sufficient assets to meet future needs. There is no waiting period on benefits. I have had the policy for six years and the premium has remained the same. Having dealt with placing parents in assisted living they look at assets, income streams (pensions, social security) and any long-term care insurance. $3000 per month isn't a lot, but when combined with assets and income streams I feel that it is a well rounded approach to meet future needs.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:13 PM   #17
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i picked up an LTC policy when i turned 60. my research showed the average annual cost for skilled nursing care is ~$70k and the average length of stay is ~3-yrs. my mom-in-law spent between $60-$70k per year for 10-yrs for assisted living.
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Old 01-22-2019, 04:53 AM   #18
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Just an added study, I read.

https://www.geripal.org/2010/08/leng...es-at-end.html

The length of stay data were striking:

the median length of stay in a nursing home before death was 5 months
the average length of stay was longer at 14 months due to a small number of study participants who had very long lengths of stay
65% died within 1 year of nursing home admission
53% died within 6 months of nursing home admission
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:36 AM   #19
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One observation about the article - it doesn't really go much into why a single wouldn't need a LTC policy. It made three points: you may not need a long stay,and therefore Medicare would cover it. (45% were in this position according to the article.) The second point was that if you impoverished yourself, you could be put on Medicaid. The third point was that you would lose the money paid into standard LTC policies if you didn't use it. That's why the author was recommending the whole life policy, if one wanted coverage. (But that is a somewhat separate issue from whether you need LTC insurance at all).

To the arguments against LTC for singles I can add two others the author did not mention: that you may not need it at all (but this is a complete roll of the dice); and, as my FA pointed out, you could take out a reverse mortgage, if you own your own house.

But I think the article ends up making a pretty good case for single, childless people securing some kind of LTC insurance. It points out that 55% of people using these facilities DO stay longer than the Medicare 3 month length. That you would likely want a better quality facility than you can obtain with Medicaid. That you are more likely NOT to have family members who can take care of you. That you have more options, such as staying in your home. That you can spend down your nest egg with less anxiety.

Again, I can add some personal points in favor of a policy - that my policy, at least, also covers various rehab and disability scenarios, not just a final stay from which there is no return. My policy also allows some control over the final pool of benefits. I have some limited ability to control premium increases, in exchange for keeping benefits at a given level. And my overall good health now makes it MORE likely I will need LTC in the future.

Altogether, the flexibility and peace of mind are important to me.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:50 AM   #20
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One observation about the article - it doesn't really go much into why a single wouldn't need a LTC policy. It made three points: you may not need a long stay,and therefore Medicare would cover it. (45% were in this position according to the article.) The second point was that if you impoverished yourself, you could be put on Medicaid. The third point was that you would lose the money paid into standard LTC policies if you didn't use it. That's why the author was recommending the whole life policy, if one wanted coverage. (But that is a somewhat separate issue from whether you need LTC insurance at all). And my overall good health now makes it more, not less, likely that I will need assistance some day.

To the arguments against LTC for singles I can add two others the author did not mention: that you may not need it at all (but this is a complete roll of the dice); and, as my FA pointed out, you could take out a reverse mortgage, if you own your own house.

But I think the article ends up making a pretty good case for single, childless people securing some kind of LTC insurance. It points out that 55% of people using these facilities DO stay longer than the Medicare 3 month length. That you would likely want a better quality facility than you can obtain with Medicaid. That you are more likely NOT to have family members who can take care of you. That you have more options, such as staying in your home. That you can spend down your nest egg with less anxiety.

Again, I can add some personal points in favor of a policy - that my policy, at least, also covers various rehab and disability scenarios, not just a final stay from which there is no return. My policy also allows some control over the final pool of benefits. I have some limited ability to control premium increases, in exchange for keeping benefits at a given level. And my overall good health now makes it MORE likely I will need LTC in the future.

Altogether, the flexibility and peace of mind are important to me.
Don't count on getting the full 100 days "free"...my relative was booted off after only the non-copay number of days (20) because they were unable to make progress...too debilitated by their terminal disease...would likely see the same outcome for someone with dementia.
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