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3
Nov

5 Things You Need to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance

5 Things You Need to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance

Chances are you’ll live well into your 80s, your 90s, and possibly even longer. When you live a long life, the likelihood you’ll need long-term health care is greatly increased.

That’s why over 10 million Americans have purchased long-term care insurance.1 Here are just a few things you should know:

  1. You can decide where care is received. Long-term care insurance doesn’t just provide nursing home care. It can also provide home care for those who prefer to “age in place,” as well as adult day care, assisted living facilities and hospice centers.
  2. The benefits can be flexible. Most long-term care insurance policies offer greater flexibility in the types of services available, such as covering the costs for installing grab bars or a wheelchair ramp, or purchasing a lift chair or hospital bed.
  3. Family caregivers can be covered. Most policies provide caregiver training for family members. Other policies recognize family caregivers as informal caregivers, making their time and services reimbursable under the policy.
  4. Couples can share coverage. Many long-term care insurance policies offer an optional benefit commonly known as “shared care,” which allows couples to share their coverage and maximize their benefits. It typically also includes a built-in protection to ensure a surviving spouse can still receive long-term care insurance benefits.
  5. It’s not “just for older people.” While it’s a critical part of retirement planning and important protection for your later years, younger people also need long-term care as a result of accidents or illnesses. Plus, the younger you are when you apply for long-term care insurance, the better—making it more affordable.

Given that the cost of long-term care can quickly deplete your life’s savings, you should seriously consider adding long-term care insurance to your financial plan. Plus, there’s about a 70% chance you’ll need some type of long-term care after age 65.2

Be sure to learn more about long-term care insurance and why it’s a critical piece of retirement planning. Ask your financial advisor about these and other features and how it has helped their clients like it helped 250,000 families last year.3

 

1Estimate from the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI)

2Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey

3Estimate from the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI)

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments or products may be appropriate for you, consult with your financial advisor.

 

The post 5 Things You Need to Know About Long-Term Care Insurance appeared first on Smart Money Advisors.

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13
Oct

Getting Your Affairs in Order

Getting Your Affairs in Order

10 Steps for Creating a Smart End-of-Life Plan

End-of-life planning sounds like something you do towards the end of your life. But the reality is, no one knows what tomorrow will bring. If the worst were to happen, you wouldn’t want your family to be burdened with financial, legal and logistical problems. These 10 steps will help you get your affairs in order.

  1. Have a will and update it periodically. The will designates executors, guardians and trustees. Your executor’s first task is to locate your will. To facilitate that, put the original in an envelope with your name and “Will” written on it. Then place the envelope in a fireproof metal box, file cabinet or home safe.
  2. Have a health care directive (living will). A living will is a medical directive written in advance that sets forth your preference for treatment in the event of your inability to direct care. The document may be drafted to include when the directive should be initiated and who has the decision-making responsibility to withdraw or withhold treatment.
  3. Have powers of attorney. The person you select as your financial and/or healthcare power of attorney should be your spouse or close friend or relative. Whoever you designate will be authorized to manage your affairs, typically financial ones, if you’re not able to handle them yourself.
  4. Have life insurance. Having the right amount of life insurance coverage will help ensure that the dreams you have for your family will be realized even if you’re not there. Determining how much to buy can be complicated, so it’s important to seek assistance from an insurance professional.
  5. Review beneficiary designations for your various financial accounts, including group and individual benefits like life insurance and 401(k)s. Check annually to ensure those named in your insurance policies and retirement plans are still relevant to your needs and wishes. Many people think that if they have a will, they are covered. However, beneficiaries designated in documents generally fall outside the scope of a will, so it is critical that you keep your policies and records updated.
  6. Specify where important financial account information is located. It may sound like an obvious thing to do, but few people keep a list of where important records pertaining to their savings, retirement plans, college-funding plans, mortgage, and insurance reside. Keep a master list and review it annually.
  7. Specify where important non-financial information and valuables are located such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, titles/deeds for the house/cars, passports, jewelry, safe deposit box key, items in storage facilities, etc.
  8. Specify your final arrangements such as burial or cremation, where you want to be buried, whether you want to be an organ donor, etc.
  9. Have a list of professionals who assist you with your family’s legal and financial affairs (insurance professional, attorney, accountant, etc.).
  10. Explain to heirs how your trust works. Trusts are often a useful legal and estate-planning device for protecting assets from estate taxes and providing a vehicle to be sure survivors get proper administrative and investment advice and counsel. An attorney is the best source of information about the proper use of trusts and whether one would be appropriate for you.

To get a sense of your “end-of-life” needs, talk to your financial advisor. He/she can make sure you have the plans in place that you need to get your affairs in order.

Information for this article was provided by Life Happens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers make smart insurance decisions to safeguard their families’ financial futures: www.lifehappens.org.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments or products may be appropriate for you, consult with your financial advisor.

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29
Sep

Life Insurance 101 for Retirees

Life Insurance 101 for Retirees

According to a recent 2016 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA, having enough money for a comfortable retirement continues to be the top financial concern among most American consumers (66 percent). Next on the list are two related, and just as troubling, retirement concerns—paying for long-term care (58 percent) and medical expenses (58 percent).

It’s important to recognize that when you retire your accumulated wealth is probably at its peak. Retirement these days can last decades, and age can bring on many potential threats to your financial health. In addition to staying active, eating well and seeing your doctor regularly, you can take some proactive financial steps to help make sure a health concern doesn’t ruin your retirement.

Life Insurance

It may seem counterintuitive that empty nesters or retirees need life insurance, but some still have dependents, such as disabled adult children. Many also still have financial obligations, such as the mortgage on a home or second home, that could become a burden if a spouse died or becomes disabled. More importantly, if you died today, your spouse could outlive you by decades. Would they have to make drastic lifestyle changes to make ends meet? Your death could reduce the Social Security benefits they’d been counting on. It could also bring unplanned medical and funeral expenses.

Life insurance coverage can preserve the retirement plan you worked so hard to put in place and ensure your estate will be passed on, intact, to your survivors. A policy’s death benefit can help foot the estate tax bill from Uncle Sam and provide a legacy for your children and grandchildren, even if you use up most of your assets during your lifetime. For all these reasons, if you’ve been thinking about dropping your life insurance coverage, you may want to reconsider.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance usually takes effect when you cannot perform at least two activities of daily living such as bathing, eating or dressing. The cost of this insurance rises as you grow older, but if you don’t have it and can afford it, you should consider it. The cost of home health care aide, an assisted living facility or a nursing home can quickly deplete your life’s savings. Medicaid, a government program, only kicks in once your assets are significantly depleted, and you may not get exactly the care you’re hoping for.

Annuities with Long-Term Care Benefits

Insurance companies have recently come up with “hybrid,” or linked, policies. These vehicles allow you to obtain a fixed annuity and to then attach a long-term care rider. Should you have a qualifying need for long-term care services, you could access a monthly benefit for a set number of months or, in some cases, for the remainder of your life.

 

The purchase of a fixed annuity with LTC benefits can be less expensive than buying a stand-alone LTC insurance policy. And when you deposit funds into the annuity, that money is yours to spend regardless of whether you need long-term care or not.

Whether you’re an empty nester or already in retirement, it’s always a good idea to reevaluate your insurance coverage and needs. To find out more about life and LTC insurance and if you need additional coverage, be sure to contact your financial professional.

Information for this article was provided by Life Happens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers make smart insurance decisions to safeguard their families’ financial futures: www.lifehappens.org.

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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments or products may be appropriate for you, consult with your financial professional.

The post Life Insurance 101 for Retirees appeared first on Smart Money Advisors.

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