Make Long-Term Care More Affordable

The Average cost of a private room in a nursing home is now about $248 per day (or about $90,000 per year), and 12 hours a day of home care costs even more, according to the MetLife Mature Market Institute. But for many baby-boomers, it takes more thatn the threat of financial catastrophe to be prodded into buying a long-term care insurance policy.

“If people have experience with family members needing care, they sign up immediately,” says Ted Sarenski, a CPA and personal financial specialist in Syracuse, N.Y. “But if they don’t, they worry that they are throwing their money away.”

Sarenski recommends to clients in their fifties that they have some form of long-term-care coverage to protect their retirement savings. Until recently, people who bought policies generally got enough insurance to cover 100% of the cost of care. But insurers boosted their rates after paying more money in claims than they expected. RAtes for new policies have shot up-especially for women buying their own-and it has become a lot more difficult to qualify for coverage if you have health issues.

Sarenski helps his clients calculate how much of their savings they can afford to spend on long-term-care costs and still keep enough money for the other spouse to live on, possibly for decades. Then he recommends buying enough coverage to fill the gap-usually at least half of the cost of care. Fortunately, insurers are offering new options that shift more reisk to you but make policies less costly.

Several major long-term-care insurers have switched from unisex to gender differentiated pricing. Genworth, the largest long-term-care insurer, announced the change in late 2012, and John Hancock, Transamerica and Mutual of Omaha quickly followed suit.

In many cases, single women-who tend to live longer than men and are more likely to need care-now pay about 50% more than single men, says Cloude Thau, a long-term-care insurance consultant in Overland Park, Kansas. The rate hikes haven’t’ been approved yet in some states, and few insurers still offer unisex rates, especially for polices sold through employers.

Most insurers continue to offer discounts for couples of about 30%, says Thau. For example, Genworth’s couples policies give women a big break. For healthy 55-year old buying a policy with a three-year benefit period and a $150 daily benefit, plus 5% inflation protection, the cost is $2,190 a year for a single man and $2,966 for single women. But the price drops to $1,4854 each if they buy as a couple.

Couples can also hedge their bets with a shared-benefit periods, you share a benefit pool-three years each becomes a poll of six years that can be split between the spouses. Genworth charges $2,187 per person for a coupld sharing a six-year benefit period-versus $1,854 each for a couple who buy separate three-year policies with a couples discount.

If you’re a single woman, consider a policy that combines long-term-care and life insurance. With a combo policy, rates won’t go up, and with you or your heirs are guaranteed a payout. For example, a 60-year old woman who invests $100,00 in Lincoln Financial’s MoneyGuard policy could get $6,627 in monthly long-term-care benefits for six years-totally $477,144. If she dies before needing care, her heirs will get a death benefit of $159,048. (Money she uses for long-term-care is subtracted from the death benefit.)

“Combination policies are a better deal for single women than they were in the past,” says John Ryan, of Ryan Insurance Strategy Consultants, in Greenwood Village, Colorado. He recommends getting quotes for both combo and stand-alone policies. You can buy a combo policy outright or pay for it over three years.

In the past, most policies automatically increased benefits by 5% compounded per year. But policies with 3% or CPI-adjusted inflation protection, which trims premiums, have become more popular. For example, a 50 year old woman who buys a John Hancock policy with a $150 daily benefit, a three year benefit period and a 90 day elimination period would pay $3,374 per year with 5% inflation protection, compared with $1,560 for a CPI-adjusted policy. A man would pay $2,174 per year for the 5% compound policy or $956 for one with a CPI adjustment.

Some insurers are offering policies with future purchase options, which cost less than traditional inflation adjusted policies to start out but don’t increase benefits automatically. Instead, you can boost your benefits every few years if you pay more.

When choosing an inflation option, don’t simply compare premiums. Calculate how much the pool of benefits will grow to by the time you’re likely to need care. A policy with a 3% inflation adjustment may not seem as good a deal when you see how much smaller the benefit pool will be when you’re 80.

Some states have partnership programs that let people who buy long-term care insurance keep more of their assets if they exhaust their long=term care policy benefits and have to rely on Medicaid. Some states require that policies have 5% compound inflation protection to qualify for the partnership program.

Insurers are also managing their risk by rejecting more people for health issuers and making it more difficult to qualify for the best rates. A study by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance found that 45%of people ages 50-59 qualified for good health discounts, but only 30% of people ages 60-69 qualified.

Health requirements vary from company to company. A long-term care specialist who works with many insurers can help you find the one that offers the best rates.

Retirement Q&A: Costs of Being a Caregiver

Why should the average person be concerned with caregiving?

-At some point in your life, you likely will be a caregiver or need a caregiver. The efforts of caregivers enable millions of Americans of all ages to survive in their own homes. Today there are an estimated 42 million family caregivers in America—about one out of every five adults—and pressure on family members is rue to rise as the Boomer generation gets older. Almost two-thirds of family caregivers are women, most often for an older parent or spouse. Caregivers are an invisible army, often toiling without recognition or support, and at great personal cost.

What kinds of tasks do family caregivers perform?

-Caregiving can mean anything from help with basic tasks of daily living, like bathing and cooking, to increasingly sophisticated medical support. Family caregivers may perform tasks such as managing multiple medications, caring for wounds, operating specialized equipment, and even administering injections and IVs. Often, family caregivers do these tasks on top of holding down a paid job. These unpaid caregivers are the backbone of our nation’s long-term system, providing services worth more than $450 billion a year.

What are the greatest challenges facing caregivers?

-Research shows that family caregivers often sacrifice wages, retirement security and even their health, as they attempt to juggle responsibilities at home and in the workplace. One study found that losses in wages, Social Security and pensions due to career disruptions can exceed $320,000. Yet, unless society provides greater support to caregivers, their challenges are only going to get worse. In 2010, there were more than seven potential caregivers for everyone age 80-plus. By 2030, the ratio is projected to decline to 4-1; and by mid-century it could fall below 3 to 1.

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LTC Look Who Else is Talking About it July:

If Long-Term Care Planning is Not Part of the Discussion in Your Family, It Should Be.
Look Who Else is Talking About it:

LTC Look Who Else_July 2012_AGlickman

LTC Look Who Else is Talking About it August:

If Long-Term Care Planning is Not Part of the Discussion in Your Family, It Should Be.
Look Who Else is Talking About it:

LTC Look Who Else_August 2012_AGlickman

The Real Facts and Statistics

The Real Facts and Statistics


When someone experiences a debilitating health event – short-term or long-term – that may require them to be dependant on others, to dip into savings or stop working, the effects can be significant. There are obvious consequences and new circumstances; other impacts are unseen, but real nonetheless.

About Care Recipients:

  • 34% – Are mothers receiving care from their children
  • 12% – Are fathers receiving care from their children
  • 9% – Are spouses receiving care from their spouses


Financial Impact:

  • 88% – Said their household income was reduces by an average of 44% due to their long term care event
  • 60% – Reported a need to cut back on family expenses after a long term care event
  • 63% – Reduced their saving by an average of 61%


Emotional Impact:

  • 42% – Felt stress with their spouse
  • 35% – Reported stress with their children


Care Needed Due To:

  • 45% – A Specific Illness
  • 42% – Age-Related Frailty
  • 41% – Cognitive Impairment
  • 13% – Rehabilitation From an Accident


Care Arrangements:

  • 65% – Of care recipients had not considered the possibility of needed long term care
  • 45% – Of care recipients required care for 3 years or more
  • 40% – Of care recipients were moved into a family member’s home for a period of time


The dollars to pay for care must come from somewhere. Most often, savings and retirement contributions are hardest hit, threatening families’ ability to live comfortably in the future.

Being the main caregiver has significant effects on the emotional and financial well-being of an individual and their family. Juggling time, career, family and finances are the most prevalent stress points but they are only part of the personal and emotional issues that make providing long term care “expensive” on many levels for the Primary Caregivers family.

About Primary Caregivers:

  • 53 is the average are
  • 42% – Care for a mother
  • 24% – Care for a father
  • 23% – Care for a spouse


Financial Impact to Primary Caregivers:

  • 83% – Contributed financially – an average of $8,800 for out-of-pocket care expenses (includes cost of facility care)
  • 57% – Had to dip into their own retirement funds and/or savings
  • 29% – Borrowed money, took out a reverse mortgage and/or sold their house
  • 63% – Reported lost income – an average of 23% of household income
  • 61% – Reduced their savings by an average of 63%
  • 40% – Reduced family vacations
  • 45% – Cut back on their own family expenses


Spouses and children – even in-laws or other extended family members – of primary and secondary caregivers can be affected by a long term caregiving situation. Consider these facts for family members:

The Kinds of Assistance the Family Provides:

                                                                                    Care                Financial Assistance

For an immediate family member:                              87%                             77%

For a step-family member/in-law:                               74%                             71%

For an extended family member:                                74%                             71%


Where the Money Comes From:

As a result of caring for a family member, they reported:

                                                                        Immediate          Step/             Extended

                                                                         Family           In-Law           Family

Dipping into saving/retirement plans: 55%                 57%                 50%

Selling other possessions:                                13%                 12%                 13%

Selling a home:                                               11%                 17%                 18%

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Borrowing money from a friend/family:          12%                 6%                   13%

Taking out a loan:                                           6%                   3%                   6%

Acquiring a reverse mortgage on a home:      2%                   3%                   4%


Career and Workplace Pressure:

Among those family members reporting adverse effects of the long term care event on their careers, data shows that:

Immediate          Step/             Extended

                                                                         Family           In-Law           Family

Had to work fewer hours:                               44%                 39%                 32%

Lost a job, missed career opportunities:         49%                 36%                 48%

Had repeated absence from work:                  40%                 32%                 32%

Were repeadly late for work:                           19%                 7%                   8%



Abe Glickman, LTCA, LTCP


Abe Glickman Insurance Group

Toll-Free Phone: 877-298-5824

Email: AG@AbeGlickman.com

“It is better to create a plan 10 years too soon than one day too late.”

Questions or Comments? Give me a call!

The Circle of Care

The Circle of Care

Care is often provided by and impacts a wide contingency of people who are important to us.

• Care Recipient
• Primary Caregiver
• Secondary Caregiver
• Community Support

When someone has a short term or long term care event, there are often people within a “Circle of Care” who get involved to help. At the center of the circle is the Care Recipient; the person who is in need of assistance.

Surrounding that person is an evolving circle of care that includes a Primary Caregiver, who most often provides the majority of hands-on care. In addition, they often contribute significant financial support. Primary Caregivers and their families are the most directly impacted by their involvement in care.

The Secondary Caregiver is involved to a lesser degree. Whatever the level of involvement, this person fully understands all the dynamics of the care the recipient receives. Even thought they are not at the forefront of care, that financial and emotional impacts of a long term care event can be the same as to the Primary caregiver and should not be underestimated or overlooked. Also affected are the Primary and Secondary Caregivers families; siblings, spouses, children and in-laws.

The Community also provides care through religious organizations, community non-profit organizations, friends and neighbors.

Now, let’s take a look at the impacts (financial and emotional) on the caregivers and families in the circle of care from the Care Recipients perspective:

“My wife had to be available 24/7. She also became my chauffeur and needed to help me shower and dress. She needed to help every time I had to move. It affect her freedom, her lifestyle and her health.”

“My husband had to take time off from his job to help me. He needed to take off more time than what was expected. He was frustrated that I had so much pain and felt that he was not doing enough. I hated myself for asking for so much help.”

“I think my son and daughter were worried that I would have to move in with one of them to care for me. I have always valued my independence, and that feeling does not change with age. But I inevitably needed help; it drained them emotionally and financially. Thank goodness form them, but it altered the rest of their lives.”

If you honestly still feel Long Term Care Insurance is not important, wait until next month.

To Be Continued…With “Real Facts and Statistics”

Abe Glickman, LTCA, LTCP
Abe Glickman Insurance Group
Toll-Free Phone: 877-298-5824
Email: AG@AbeGlickman.com

“It is better to create a plan 10 years too soon than one day too late.”

Questions or Comments? Give me a call!

Beyond Dollars

Beyond Dollars

Each of us has defining relationships in our lives; with our parents, our spouses, our children, and our colleagues.

We even have relations of sorts with our accomplishments, our achievements, and our success. And we have relationships with our own futures. We think of them as relationships because they mean something to us – and we are committed to them.

The Ripple Effect
We may understand that there is a financial impact to helping provide care, but there is more to the equation, and it goes far beyond dollars.

There is a ripple that can touch a primary caregiver, a secondary caregiver, their families and their futures. While a loving and selfless act, accepting or taking responsibility for another individual’s impact on our own lives, and on our families’ lives.

No matter how willing we are, no matter how heartfelt our promises are, our caregiving commitments can affect marriages, family dynamics, work commitments, financial stability and other building blocks of our own futures.

Will You Have A Role In Someone’s Care?
Thinking through the impact of your responsibilities as a caregiver is a first and important step.

Whether you are a primary of hands-on caregiver, or someone who orchestrates the care provided by others – whether you provide some financial support or weigh in on important decisions – it’s important to recognize the potential impact of caregiving on all aspects of your life.

Planning ahead for ways to mitigate costs or share caregiving responsibilities is worthy or every family’s consideration

To Be Continued…With “The Circle of Care”

Abe Glickman, LTCA, LTCP
Abe Glickman Insurance Group
Toll-Free Phone: 877-298-5824
Email: AG@AbeGlickman.com

“It is better to create a plan 10 years too soon than one day too late.”

Questions or Comments? Give me a call!