Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Death Benefits You CAN Take With You

Would you like spend your retirement savings on your in-laws nursing home costs? Would you want your kids to spend their life savings paying for your assisted living expenses? Most people wouldn’t, yet most people don’t have long term care insurance. Whereas 153 million Americans own life insurance, only 8 million own long term care policies.

Most of us don’t plan for long term care until it is too late:

13% actively plan for how they will live when they are old and frail
40% begin planning only after a near catastrophic health crisis
47% must make long term care decisions in a very short period of time, usually at the hospital
75% exhaust all of their savings and assets while still alive trying to pay for long term care

Most of us also don’t understand the cost of long term care or how to pay for it:

92% incorrectly estimate the cost of nursing home care ($72,000- $83,500 annually)
77% incorrectly estimate the cost of an assisted living facility ($40,000 annually)
45% incorrectly believe Medicare covers assisted living costs
59% incorrectly believe Medicare will pay for extended nursing home stay

Home equity has traditionally been a reliable source of funding for long term care. Not so much anymore. For the first time in history, there is more debt than equity in America’s homes. And if you’ve already looked into long term care, you know it is expensive- prohibitively expensive for many of us. So what can you do?

The good news is that the senior care industry and lawmakers have recognized that life insurance is a new method to pay for the cost of long term care. Recent legislation makes it easier for families unable to keep making premium payments on their life insurance policy to cash it out to pay for long term care- instead of just abandoning the policy. Another new law mandates that the owner of a life insurance policy with an accelerated death benefit rider can trigger the benefit if they have been living in a nursing home for at least 3 months.

To learn about purchasing a life insurance policy that can be converted to pay for long term care, or how you can use your current life insurance policy’s death benefit while you are still alive, call Connie Prince at Allied Brokers. Connie is our in-house expert in long-term care, disability, life, home, auto and umbrella insurance. She holds licenses in UFC, health, fire and casualty and is a Silvar Affiliate Member. 26 years of industry experience and strong relationships with major carriers such as Mercury, Travelers, CIG, Hartford AARP, Genworth, Prudential and Banner help Connie advise her clients on how to protect themselves and the ones they love.

Visit our website at http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ for information about all the types of insurance we offer. Or call 1-888-505-7988 for a free rate quote.

Information for this article was provided by Chris Orestis, contributing editor to National Underwriter Life & Health Magazine, December 2011.

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