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Old 03-28-2011, 05:53 PM   #61
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But to cover one of us for one year of care, the calculator estimated $275K.
Dang, that's a high amount. Is that in future dollars well down the road, or because the DC area is so expensive? In most of the country $200-$250/day covers nursing home care.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:13 PM   #62
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I certainly understand why people with sizable assets, or a significant other would be interested in this, but I refuse to live an insurance poor lifestyle. I get to do more or less what I want to do because I live modesty, but my land if I bought every insurance your "supposed" to have I would be forced to eat premium statements for food. I drive an old car so I only have to pay liability, HDP for health insurance so I can actually make money on my premium purchase by fully funding my HSA. I understand the defensive characteristics of insurance, but I would rather bet on winning not losing! I plan on continually saving/investing instead of dumping it into a sink hole insurance policy. The state can take my pension check and cash it each month after my assets are gone. I am a very independent person, if I become a financial drain to society, ship me off to the Oregon border and have someone like a Dr. Kervorkian sent there to put me out of my misery, as I don't want to live like that anyway. That all being said, no male in the previous 3 generations of my family has went to an assisted care facility. We drop dead from heart attacks!
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:31 PM   #63
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All this talk about spending years, and even decades, in a disabled state is indeed depressing. Some of my close relatives have been through this. It sure makes me want to "live life more fully" now, which may even help my eventual exit be more expedient, which is what I want anyway.

So, when should I pick up smoking again?
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:33 PM   #64
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The one catch is that a nursing home will not hold the bed for your loved one so if you want them back in the same room, you will have to pay the minimum care figure.
Most LTC policies have a bed reservation benefit that pays that cost for you, FYI.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:21 PM   #65
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For now I am passing on a LTC policy. I researched them about 3 or so years ago, received some quotes. The frustrating thing for me was that you had to make serious decisions about what you thought you might need...far into the future...even to the extent of how many years of care you "think" you might need, daily per diems...etc. What? How do I know?

Anyway....I am going the self insured route. Running the calculator provided on this thread....cinched that decision for me. My retirement "income" from all sources should be close to the cost or higher than the 1 year of care on the calculator (my amounts are different from some others posted here). That's without using the house or core financial assets or selling any assets. And if needed, they can be used for back up.

Does the calculator include most or all medical costs and the facility Anyone know?
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:23 PM   #66
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There's another angle on LTC that folks should watch. The recently passed health care law included a voluntary federal LTCi provision (the CLASS program). It is going to be a big government giveaway to those enrolled in the program unless it is reformed (that's not a political statement or bashing of the law--the present HHS secretary has admitted that the CLASS act is "totally unsustainable" in its present form, which is plainly true). The law will likely be reformed or changed in some way eventually, but sometimes there are considerable benefits to getting a foot in the door of such a broken program. Our legislators and their staffs have proven to be sloppy in their work, and sometimes loopholes turn up.

There are a lot of unknowns about how the CLASS program might work, but the daily benefit is supposed to be a minimum of $50 per day (to be adjusted for inflation), but other sources indicate it might be higher depending on degree of impairment. Premiums haven't been published, but the CRS estimated the average premiums would be about $123 per month. You have to pay premiums for 36 months out of the first 60 months you are enrolled in the program before you qualify for benefits.

What I need to find out--once you qualify for CLASS benefits (paid premiums for 36 months), if you are retired (no longer earning income subject to SS), are you still required to pay CLASS premiums? The legislation is set up to collect premiums via payroll deduction--hmm.

Observations:
-- $50 per day aint a lot, but it's something. It is enough to pay for about 25% of nursing home costs in most parts of the country, and could pay for home visits, etc. It will be indexed for inflation. There are signs that the government will offer higher amounts to those with more impairment. The legislation specifically states that the benefits won't count against the recipient when figuring Medicaid eligibility or other benefits, so Medicaid + CLASS might result in better accommodations. Also, unlike most commercial LTCI, the duration of the benefit is unlimited.
-- Government benefits tend to go up, not down.
-- If the premiums for this program are linked to employment or to income, ERed folks or the "flying under the radar" low income types might get make out.

So, keep your eyes open. Final rules should be set and published in the next year or two. Maybe this program will be worthless, but maybe not. An ER person might do alright, and it will almost certainly be a good deal for folks with risk factors that make it likely they'll need LTC (and therefor can't buy coverage commercially. This adverse selection is the main reason the federal program will probably lose tons of money, whatever the law says about it being self-supporting). With all the goodies being thrown around in DC, it's prudent to grab a net and scoop some up.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:50 PM   #67
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We haven't purchased LTCi yet. Is anyone concerned that the insurance company holding the policy may go belly up? I seem to recall reading that has already happened in the past few years. Anyone else heard of that happening?
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:10 PM   #68
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This thread is very thought provoking. In our case we may only have to pay for my husband, since I think I will be turned down due to a chronic disease.

One thing I don't take into account, because things change is that my daughter and her husband built a suite on their home for us to come live in, if needed. It us fully handicap accessible, and our son-in- law is a physician. I can't believe they did this for us, but they are both planners and we are all very close. Even if we only use it for occasional visits, we appreciate the idea that we have their support.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:25 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
All this talk about spending years, and even decades, in a disabled state is indeed depressing. Some of my close relatives have been through this. It sure makes me want to "live life more fully" now, which may even help my eventual exit be more expedient, which is what I want anyway.
So, when should I pick up smoking again?
Seriously? Really?

My mother started smoking again when her breast cancer metastasized to her spinal column. That ended badly.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:26 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
All this talk about spending years, and even decades, in a disabled state is indeed depressing. Some of my close relatives have been through this. It sure makes me want to "live life more fully" now, which may even help my eventual exit be more expedient, which is what I want anyway.

So, when should I pick up smoking again?
Smoking meant my Dad could hardly walk for the last 5 years of his life and a lot of pain in his legs due to PAD which can also be caused by lack of exercise.

Lifestyle risk factors that can be prevented or changed:
  • Smoking.
  • Lack of physical activity (a sedentary lifestyle).
  • Obesity.
  • An unhealthy diet.
  • Excess alcohol.
Be careful what you wish for.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:48 AM   #71
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Be careful what you wish for.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:16 AM   #72
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But to cover one of us for one year of care, the calculator estimated $275K.
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Dang, that's a high amount. Is that in future dollars well down the road, or because the DC area is so expensive? In most of the country $200-$250/day covers nursing home care.
On reflection that does seem pretty darn high. I just looked at the calculator someone referenced above. I assume it must include 25-30 years of inflation. So for someone to self insure a year of care (a pretty good cushion and more than most will end up needing) it would be wise to set aside around $50-100K of your portfolio (depending on how you see it performing). Not so intimidating. But I plan to stick with the LTC because I am still concerned with the worst case scenarios that burn through our estate leaving the kids at the mercy of the ruthless every-man-to-himself future that so many people seem determined to put in place.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:30 AM   #73
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More on the CLASS act from the nytimes.com
The Curtain Rises on the Class Act - NYTimes.com
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:10 AM   #74
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More on the CLASS act from the nytimes.com
The Curtain Rises on the Class Act - NYTimes.com
There are so many problems with the CLASS Act I don't even know where to start....
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:48 AM   #75
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I plan to purchase my LTC insurance from Smith & Wesson.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:57 AM   #76
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I plan to purchase my LTC insurance from Smith & Wesson.
This type of coverage is rarely used. When it comes time to collect benefits the insured has often lost access to the policy - or can't recall how to file.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:57 AM   #77
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I plan to purchase my LTC insurance from Smith & Wesson.
I'm in that group too but you have to see the problem coming to take advantage of that insurance. For many, if not most, that isn't the reality. And you sure can't rely on others to act as your proxy.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:03 AM   #78
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I was mostly kidding about that being the plan.

My problem with LTC insurance is that I don't trust the policies to really deal with the problem.

They don't seem to offload enough risk for the money.

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I'm in that group too but you have to see the problem coming to take advantage of that insurance. For many, if not most, that isn't the reality. And you sure can't rely on others to act as your proxy.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:22 AM   #79
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I'm in that group too but you have to see the problem coming to take advantage of that insurance. For many, if not most, that isn't the reality. And you sure can't rely on others to act as your proxy.
Sorry to be morbid (and I understand if the admin's pull this post), but I'm well aware of a situation, close to me, of re-occurance of a medical "challange" that was resolved in this manner.

It happens...
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:03 AM   #80
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Good post. Even the best laid plans can go awry....and in case anyone is wondering, 40% of all people that need LTC are between the ages of 18 and 64, so it's not just the old and frail.
A relative was in a nursing home with early-onset dementia for about 10 years until he passed away. His wife lost everything except their one acre homestead on the ranch they used to own. Their savings were wiped out. She was not old enough to collect survivorship on his social security. She eventually had to sell the homestead and move in with relatives.

I'm sure dgoldenz has a thousand stories similar to this one.
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