life insurance uses for long term care expenses - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

Is Long Term Care Insurance right for me?

 

Long Term Care - Be Prepared

October is Long Term Care Insurance Awareness Month.

Traditional long term care (LTC) insurance policies have become less popular as the renewal cost rose each year making them unaffordable in many cases.  When LTC insurance policies were first introduced there was not much data on claims so a lot of assumptions were used.  As time passed companies experienced more claims than expected leading to increased premiums.

Long term care policies changed in recent years using a life insurance policy with a LTC rider.  Today there are many different options when purchasing LTC policies.

But you need to know that Long Term Care is a serious risk to your retirement assets.  You worked all your life and saved for retirement. You were not expecting to see those retirement savings being used up by your long term care needs.  Check out Genworth’s Compare the Cost Report to understand the risk to your retirement assets. In our area a home health aide could cost you $54,912 a year.  A nursing home stay could cost you $124,465 a year. At that rate your retirement assets are vulnerable.

Contact us today to have a discussion to see if LTC insurance is right for you. Go to our website to see our report: “Spencer’s Tips on Long Term Care . . . What is Long Term Care and how do I prepare for it.”

Since the new generation of Long Term Care Insurance policies are based on life insurance the sooner you start a policy the less the cost will be.  LTC insurance needs to be purchased before you need it.  Don’t wait until it is too late and you eat into those retirement assets you built all your life.

Are you getting ready to downsize and prepare for retirement?

 

Here is some information from our website about downsizing and preparing for retirement.

Your life has changed.  It is a lot different than it was a few years ago. Your children graduated from college, possibly married and are out on their own. You and your spouse are now empty nesters.  Or possibly your child has moved back into your home. Sometimes these events are good and sometimes not so good.  Grandchildren may be in your future and you look forward to spending time with them.

Your thoughts are turning more and more to the days when you are going to retire, whatever that means to you.  Today only a few people are truly ready for a financially independent retirement. You may have 10 or even 20 years to retirement and may spend 20 to 30 additional years in retirement.  Are you ready?

What is next for you?  You may be thinking about retiring, reducing your hours at work or volunteering.  What does this mean for your employment, living arrangements, hobbies and insurance needs?

It is time to start planning for your retirement, so we have put together some suggestions for you especially when thinking about your insurance needs during downsizing and retirement

What are you changing?

  • Your job– if you are considering retiring from your current job give some thought to what you will do with all that time.  You may want to look into a part time job, volunteer work or put more time into that favorite hobby.  Before you make any changes check out a few items:
    • Your health insurance – what happens to your coverage if you retire? Are you eligible for Medicare?
    • Your income – Check with a financial planner to understand how prepared you are financially before quitting your job.
    • Your health – What is the status of your health?  Will you need assistance with daily activities of life?  Is your current home appropriate living arrangements for you future?  You should discuss this with your family.
  • Your Home– You may want to consider different living arrangements.  You may decide a single family home is right for you or you may want to downsize and move into a townhouse, condo or apartment.  You may even want to discuss an independent living community or moving in with a child using an in-law suite.  Discuss your options with your family and if needed a realtor.  You also may want to make some renovations to your current home if you plan to stay there.
  • Your estate plans – Have you reviewed your will?  Are your power of attorney and medical power of attorney documents up to date?

 

How does all this affect my insurance coverage?  Let’s discuss several different insurance policies you have now that will be impacted by downsizing and/or retirement.

  • Health Insurance– What happens to this coverage if you retire?  Will your spouse lose their coverage?  Are you and your spouse eligible for Medicare?
  • Auto Insurance
    • Did you know that in Pennsylvania if you are age 55 or older you can get a discount of 5% on your auto insurance if you take a driver’s safety course called 55 Alive?  To find a location of a 55 Alive course near you contact AARP.
    • You may want to consider increasing the medical coverage on your auto policy to $1,000,000.  Although this only applies if you are injured in an auto accident, this coverage does not have deductibles or coinsurance.  You get to choose your providers.
    • Did you stop commuting?  Call us and see if your rates can be lowered since you are driving less often.
    • Check with us to see if any other discounts are available to you.
    • If you are retired, see if there is any coverage you no longer need such as work loss. You may need work loss coverage if there are others in your household who are still working so check with us.
  • Homeowner’s Insurance
    • If you are considering moving, check with us to see what type of coverage you will need.  You still need property and liability coverage if you move into a condo, apartment, Independent Care Facility or Assisted Living Facility.
    • Are you changing the ownership of your home to a Trust?  Contact us to make sure that you have the proper liability and property coverage.
    • Are you purchasing a second home in another part of the state or out of state?  Check with us to see how this affects your auto and property policies.
    • Are you starting a home based business in your home?  This may void some of the coverage in your homeowner’s policy so discuss this business with us to make sure you have the proper coverage for the business.
  • Disability Insurance– Many people think that since they are considering retirement their disability policy is not important. However if you are ten years away from retirement and downsizing this is one place you should not downsize.  Many people in this situation are earning more now than ever before and putting more money away for their retirement now than before.  What would happen to your retirement income if you were unable to earn those wages for the next 10 years? This may be the most important time to have disability insurance.  See our free report: SPENCER TIPS ON “How to Protect Your Family When You Become Disabled and What You need to Know About Disability Insurance.”

 

 

  • Life Insurance– As you downsize you may be asking yourself “Do I still need life insurance?”  That is a good question and now is a good time to review your life insurance needs with us.  You may have a 20 or 30 year term that is about to expire.  Do you still need the coverage for a few more years?  Here are a few things to consider:
    • If you die will your spouse be left without your pension?
    • If you or your spouse dies will the surviving spouse get less Social Security benefits?
    • Will your mortgage or debt continue past your date of retirement?
    • Do you have any special needs children that need your support?

Check out our free report: What you need to know about Life Insurance and How to Make sure the People You Intended to get your Life Insurance Benefits Actually Get the Benefits!”

Preparing for retirement should be an exciting time of your life.  Start planning now so your years in retirement will be very enjoyable for you and your family.

Is Long Term Care Insurance right for you?

Long Term Care - Be Prepared

Is Long Term Care Insurance right for you?  You need to ask that question.

Well tax day, April 15, 2019, is behind us now.  Taxes are paid or you received an extension.  Taxes are bittersweet.  They take money out of our pockets but yet provide much needed services.  I don’t have a problem paying my fair share.

But how much is fair?  We work every day and try to put money aside in 401K plans or IRAs so we can have a secure retirement. Our retirement assets could well be our largest asset.  Do you protect that asset?

The chance of a house fire is 1 in 300 but we would not hesitate to get homeowner’s insurance. The chance of an auto accident is 1 in 30 and it is required in Pennsylvania that we have auto insurance. The chance that you will need long term care is 4 in 10 yet few of us have any insurance to protect our retirement assets from the dangers of expensive long term care.

Genworth’ 2018 cost of care report tells us that the average cost in the Philadelphia area for a home health aide is $54,912 a year. The cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $124,465 a year.  How long would it take to use up your retirement assets to pay these costs?

Long term care policies have only been around since the 1970s.  But they really did not catch on until the 1980s and 90s.  There was very little data to help insurance companies set rates for these products so as a result costs have gone up dramatically over the years.  Some policies had multiple increases of 15% or more.

In the last few years many new options have been introduced by life insurance companies.  These new policies referred to as hybrid policies are life insurance policies that contain long term care riders.  These riders allow you to take out a percentage of your life insurance death benefit early to help pay for long term care costs. If set up properly these payments would be tax free.  For example if you have a $250,000 life insurance policy, one company’s rider would allow you to take out 4% a month ($10,000) to help pay your long term care costs.  When your death benefit is exhausted the policy ends and there would be no life insurance.  However, if you never need long term care or die before using all the benefit then the remainder of the life insurance benefits would be paid to your beneficiary.

Many clients we talk to are not aware of these options.  Since these policies are life insurance you need to be healthy to get the coverage.  Also, the younger you are the less the cost.  Contact Spencer Insurance agency to learn your options.  Don’t assume these policies are not affordable for you.

Let us help you protect those retirement assets you spent years accumulating.

What is the #1 threat to your retirement savings?

 

Even if you are in your thirties or forties you need to pay attention to this article.  Your future retirement assets are at risk too.

You insure your homes yet there is only a 1 in 300 chance of a house fire. You insure your cars and yet there is only a 1 in 30 chance that you will have an auto accident. There is a 4 in 10 chance you will need long term care yet very few people insure their retirement assets to protect those assets from long term care expenses. Yes, long term care expenses are the #1 treat to your retirement assets.

According to “Genworth’s cost of care survey”  for 2017, here are the average annual cost in Pennsylvania:

  • Homemaker services (care in the home) $50,336
  • Adult Day Care $16,120
  • Assisted Living Facility $41,400
  • Semi Private Nursing home room $111,325

What is long term care?  Long term care is help needed to assist with the activities of daily life such as bathing, dressing, eating, using a toilet, continence or transferring from a bed to a chair. You may need this care in the home or in a facility.  How long would your retirement assets last if one or both of you needed long term care?

Here are some solutions:

  • Pay out of pocket. Even if you can afford to do this I can show you a better way
  • Medicare – Medicare only covers skilled care after being in the hospital for 3 days. So if you just need custodial care or are not getting better Medicare will not help you. Even if you do receive Medicare benefits for long term care they only last for 100 days. (20 of those days at $0 copay and 80 of those days with a copay of $167.50.)
  • Medicaid – Many with minimal assets will need to use Medicaid.
  • Private Insurance. Long term care insurance has changed dramatically.

Up to a few years ago if you purchased long term care insurance you received a policy similar to a disability policy and you had a certain monthly benefit for a certain number of years. The problem with these policies were that the price was not fixed and most policies saw many increases in premiums.  In addition, if you never needed to use the policy and passed away your heirs received nothing. Many insurance companies have gotten out of this market.

Did you know that today you can use life insurance benefits to pay for your long term care?  You purchase a permanent life insurance contract that includes a long term care insurance rider. If you qualify for long term care benefits (same qualification as the old policies) you can start taking up to 4% of your life insurance benefit monthly to help you pay for long term care expenses. That means if you have a $250,000 life insurance policy you may be able to take up to $10,000 a month to pay for your long term care. When you use all of the $250,000 death benefit then the policy ends.  Best of all if you never need long term care and pass away then your heirs would receive the $250,000 death benefit.

So why should you care if you are in your thirties or forties?  Since this is life insurance the younger and healthier you are the lower the cost. You can have plans that will be paid up by the time you retire.

As always Spencer Insurance Agency wants you to understand your options. Check out our website for more information about long term care insurance. Contact us today to set up a time to talk about long term care expenses and long term care insurance. Decide for yourself how much of your retirement assets will be protected against long term care expenses.  Spread the word to your friends and family because few people know about this option.

Unsure about Long Term Care Insurance?

According to Medicare, at least 70% of people over 65 will need long-term care services at some point.  Long-term care includes medical and non-medical care for people who have a chronic illness or disability.  Non-medical care includes non-skilled personal care assistance, like help with everyday activities, including dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom.

Check out my report on Long-Term Care Insurance : Spencer’s Tips on Long Term Care. . . What is Long Term Care and How Do I Prepare for It?

You have auto and homeowner’s insurance.  Did you know?…
·       Chance of a house fire is 1 in 300
·       Chance of an auto accident is 1 in 30
·       Chance  you will need Long-Term Care is 4 in 10 AND
·       Chance you will need Long-Term Care if you are over 65 is 7 in 10!

According to Genworth’s Compare the Cost Report, the state median annual costs of services in Pennsylvania for 2012 are:
·       Homemaker Services $44,616
·       Home Health Aide $45,760
·       Adult Day Health Care $14,300
·       Assisted Living Facility (private, one bedroom) $39,015
·       Nursing Home (semi-private room) $91,652

How many years would it take to deplete your retirement savings?
There are many ways to pay for Long-Term Care.  Do you know all the options?  Have you discussed the options with your family? Does it make sense for you?  Only you can decide after researching.  Let us help you.  Call us today at 215-885-2200 so we can discuss your options.  Or request a quote. As Independent Agents, Spencer Insurance Agency represents many top rated insurance companies and will help you decide which one offers you the plan you need.  Don’t rely on an agent who only represents one choice.  At Spencer Insurance we understand that the True Cost of Insurance can be much higher if you are not properly protected.

For more information or a quote for Long Term Care Insurance contact us today!

September is Life Insurance Awareness month!

We live for life’s wondrous moments whether it’s a baby’s first step, graduation, or retirement.  Life Insurance helps to ensure the life you’ve built for your loved ones won’t come to a halt if something were to happen to you.  It’s never too early or too late to consider all the things life insurance can do for your family.

Spencer Insurance Agency has many resources to help educate you on solutions to your life insurance needs.  Our agency wants to make sure you coordinate your life insurance planning with a financial planner, estate attorney, and us.

Part of our review of your life insurance needs is to make sure you have a will and that the will has been updated recently.  We want to make sure the people you want to receive your life insurance proceeds when you die actually get them.  I wrote a report on this subject called “What you need to know about Life Insurance. . . How to make sure the People You Intended to get your Life Insurance Benefits Actually Get the Benefits.

Many people ask “How Much Life Insurance do I need?  I will help have a discussion with you that includes four factors that will give you an answer to that question.

Another frequent question I hear is “Should I purchase supplemental Life Insurance offered by my employer?  There are pros and cons to purchasing your life insurance in a group plan.  Check out this article for the pros and cons.

Lastly, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE!  A friend of mine, Rachel, told me her story.  Read Rachel Story to see how waiting for the right time to buy life insurance can be devastating.  If you wait too long you may not be able to buy life insurance.

Call us today for a review of your life insurance needs.  Even if you have some life insurance call us at 215-885-2200 to make sure it is still performing the way it was set up to perform.

Do you know how to get your annual Social Security Statement?

retirement crossroads

 

Many clients have asked me this question:  “In the past I received my Social Security statement by mail near my birthday. I have not received one recently, what happened?”

The U.S. Social Security Administration no longer mails the statements.  You can still get your statement annually by creating an online account on “My Social Security.” Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount and click where it says “Create an Account.”

To set up an account you need to be 18 years old and have a valid email address, social security number and U.S. mailing address.  When you set it up you will be asked for some personal information to verify your identity.

After you set up your account you will be able to get your Social Security Statement and can print or save the statement.  This statement is very valuable when planning your financial and life insurance needs.  It also tells you your options for your benefits at retirement, disability benefits, and your family survivor benefit.

If you have any questions call our office at 215-885-2200.  This statement is a valuable tool when reviewing your estate and retirement plans.  Let us know by commenting if you were successful in setting up your account.

 

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