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Many families no longer live close together. Often, they see one another on holidays and special occasions. As parents age this can become problematic. Since so many more people require long-term care than ever before how does a family watch over – or even take care of an aging parent who doesn’t live nearby?

According to the Long Distance Caregiver Project, there are approximately 3.3 million long-distance caregivers and many live approximately 480 miles away from the people for which they care. If your mom or dad did not have Long-Term Care Insurance the caregiving responsibility falls on your lap. How do you handle long-distance caregiving?

This article discusses five solutions for a long distance caregiver …

                      Read more - http://caregivingmadeeasy.com/the-long-distance-caregiver/

The burden long-term care creates on loved ones is tremendous. What have you done to plan for the financial costs and burdens of aging? Long-Term Care will impact you, your family, your savings and your lifestyle. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will provide tax-free resources to not only pay for quality care, either at home or in a facility, but will provide resources like case management which will help reduce the burden on family members. This will also your family to be loving and supporting which will reduce the burden placed on them, whether they live close or afar.

A successful future retirement includes a plan for long-term care. However, you must health qualify to obtain a plan. The best time to learn your options and put an affordable plan in place is before you retire. You are probably putting money in a 401(k), IRA or 403(b). This is your hard earned money. Long-Term Care Insurance will safeguard assets

Posted: May 24th 2017

The State of Texas participates in the federal/state long-term care partnership program. The program, authorized by the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) and signed into law by President George W. Bush, gives the states the ability to provide additional asset protection for those who purchase qualified long-term care insurance policies.

The Texas Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership is a collaborative effort between private long-term care insurance providers, their authorized agents, and state government agencies, including the Texas Department of Insurance, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

Texas participated in the program as an incentive for Texans to plan for their long-term care needs. The partnership is a joint effort between private insurers and the state. Insurers must follow state and federal guidelines to sell partnership policies. Partnership policies have an “asset disregard” benefit, inflation protection, and tax qualification benefits.

For example, if a Texan were to exhaust their benefits in their qualified long-term care policy they would have an equal amount of “asset disregard”. If the policy paid $350,000 the individual would be able to protect that amount when calculating qualification for Medicaid long-term care benefits. The normal spend-down is $2000 so the individual could keep the $2000 plus the $350,000 in the example and still be able to qualify for Medicaid benefits.

You can visit the state’s OWN YOUR OWN FUTURE website: http://ownyourfuturetexas.org/

The state says, “Whether as the result of illness, injury, Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairment, or the normal frailties of aging, you may rely on someone else to help with your daily activities. You may need care temporarily or permanently, either at home or in a residential facility.” Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will safeguard assets like your 401(k), IRA and 403(b) and reduce the burden extended care places on your family. The financial costs and burdens of aging will impact you, your family, your savings and your lifestyle. Long-Term Care Insurance will provide the peace-of-mind that we want in our future retirement. Plus, a partnership policy provides additional asset protection. Even a small policy can be significant. The time to plan ideally is before you retire as your health and age have a big impact on premium and available options.

Most states have partnership Long-Term Care policies.  Without Long-Term Care Insurance you will pay for a majority of your care out-of-pocket. Health insurance and Medicare and supplements will only pay for a small amount of skilled care and only if you are improving. The US Department of Health and Human Services says if you reach the age of 65 you will have a 7 in 10 chance of needing some type of care during your lifetime. This means this is a big risk on your savings.

Most states have reciprocity with other states' long-term-care partnership programs including Texas. This means if you move from or to Texas your partnership asset protection follows you as well. Texas does not offer any state tax incentive for qualified long-term care insurance as there is no state income tax. However, federal tax incentives are still available.




Posted: May 9th 2017

Mother's Day has come and gone but we should always be looking on how to honor mom and not just on Mother’s Day.  Long-Term Care is truly a woman's issue and no matter if your mom (or the woman in your life who happens to be a mom) happens to be 40 years-old or 65 years-old a plan for the financial costs and burdens of aging should be a major concern.  Despite the fact that women are both the first line caregiver and the person who lives longer and requires long-term care, few women or families adequately plan for the impact of extended care.

The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) a national consumer advocacy and education group, puts it this way:

“Women live longer than men.  Women have higher rates of disability and chronic health problems.  Thus, women are far more likely to need long-term care.  And, as you'll see from some of the facts and statistics below, women clearly need long-term care.  Many (far too many) are impoverished as a result.”

The AALTCI says that women who reach age 65 can expect to live an average of 20 more years and those who reach age 75 an additional 13 years.  A third of long-term care insurance claims begin between ages 70 and 79; over half (55%) begin after age 80.

More than two-thirds of Americans age 85 or older are women.  Eight out of 10 centenarians are women.

About 79% of 65-year-old women will need some long-term care during their lifetime, according to Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. On average, these women will end up needing 3.7 years of care. Fewer men (about 60%) age 65 are likely to need care over the rest of their lives, and it will average about 2.2 years.

Women continue to live longer than men are the primary consumers of long-term care, and as family caregivers provide more hands-on care (such as feeding, showering, and toileting) than men.

The cost of long-term care is high and is not paid for by health insurance or Medicare. They will only pay a small amount of skilled care and only if you are improving. Medicaid, the medical welfare program, will pay for long-term care but only if you have few assets or you exhaust assets while paying for care. The nation average of an assisted living facility according to the Genworth national survey is $3620 a month. Care at home is running about $3900 a month and a skilled nursing home about $7700 a month. Depending on where you live the cost of care can vary.

Since the cost of long-term care is high some advance plan to address the financial costs and burdens of aging is a critical part of a future retirement plan. Long-Term Care will impact you, your family, your savings and your lifestyle. It also impacts women even more than men. The burden this places on your family is tremendous. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will protect your savings and ease that burden.

Knowing the facts perhaps the best gift for mom, or your wife is long-term care insurance. However, don’t wait till a person is old and sick. You must medically qualify for these policies and they are prices based on the AGE and HEALTH at the time of application. The best time is age 40 to 65. Having a policy in place will also add peace-of-mind for everyone in the family. Act before retirement for the best and most affordable options.

Many LTC policies have shared benefits so a couple can together have an affordable plan and ease the burden on their children down the road. Long-Term Care planning is an essential part of your future retirement plan. Not only will it protect your savings (401(k), IRA, 403(b)) but will add peace-of-mind today and decades to come.

One word of warning: While a long-term care policy is very important don’t forget the flowers ... a gift most women will enjoy ... and not just on holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. 

Posted: May 18th 2017

We think of breast cancer of being an illness which impacts only women. In fact, men that can suffer from breast cancer. The symptoms of breast cancer in men are similar to those in women. Most male breast cancers are diagnosed when a man discovers a lump on his chest. But unlike women, men tend to delay going to the doctor until they have more severe symptoms, like bleeding from the nipple. At that point, the cancer may have already spread.

In 2017, about 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed, and about 460 men will die from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. But breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. The number of breast cancer cases in males relative to the population has been fairly stable over the last 30 years.

Read story in US News & World Report: http://health.usnews.com/health-care/for-better/articles/2017-04-27/can-men-get-breast-cancer?int=95ce08

There are a number of risk factors according to the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/male-breast-cancer/basics/risk-factors/con-20025972

Just like women, men need to pay attention to changes in their breasts and not be afraid to discuss these issues with their doctor. Being proactive is very important. As we age the risk of breast cancer increases. Mayo Clinic says your risk of male breast cancer increases with aging. The peak incidence of male breast cancer occurs between the ages of 68 and 71. Being proactive with health includes being proactive with other aging issues as we plan for our future retirement. The financial cost and burdens of aging will impact you, your family, your savings and your lifestyle. Hitting age 40 means you pay more attention to health and retirement planning. This includes affordable long-term care insurance. Take action to protect your 401(k), IRA, and 403(b) from the high costs of extended care. Once you hit the age of 65 the US Department of Health and Human Services says you have a 70% chance of needing a long-term care service before you pass. So it really is less an “if” and more a “when” and “how long”.

Don’t wait until a health event happens before you plan since it could limit your options and increase the costs. Long-Term Care Insurance will be the peace-of-mind portion of your retirement plan.


Posted: May 7th 2017