A Different Kind of Bucket List - and Long Term Care
Have you compiled a bucket list? You know, the ultimate in fun to-do lists?
In addition to the typical mountain climbing and continent-visiting, painting lessons and dancing at grandchildren's weddings, I think that the items below are list worthy.
They may not be found on the typical bucket list, but I'm betting all the other items on the list rely upon these:
- Don't outlive my assets,
- Take care of myself to avoid long term care needs and expenses (and so I am able to return to work if the item above is in jeopardy)!
These items can rightly cause a lot of worry.
That's why I enjoyed the concept introduced in this Washington Post article. In 'Dying at your desk is not a retirement plan,' author Thomas Heath suggested readers "think of retirement as a seesaw with four pails on one side labeled assets and four pails on the other marked expenses."
Heath explained the pails labeled assets include pensions/annuities, Social Security, investments, inheritance, and - if you plan on working - salary or wages.
He explained the other pails - the outgoing side - include daily living expenses, health care, long-term care and fun stuff such as travel and philanthropy.
I agree with looking upon long term care as just another outflow in retirement. When you or a loved ones needs care, the truth is that expense can be a tremendously large number. One that can dwarf other costs such as housing, Medicare supplements, and uncovered medical expenses such as dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses. Due to the catastrophically high nature of the cost, it's only wise to consider how to fund it.
To judge by some commercials currently running on television, there's a growing awareness that many people do not have enough in their 'asset buckets' to fund a lifetime of retirement living expenses. Perhaps by delaying retirement and aggressively saving more, many will be able to fix the shortfall. But is there another strategy?
By purchasing insurance to cover long term care expenses, you can dramatically bolster the asset pails against the expense of long term care. In many cases, simply purchasing long term care coverage would make a vulnerable retirement plan much more solid, and maybe able to comfortably fund not only a long life but a burgeoning bucket list!
A long term care insurance policy can add anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to your 'seesaw' - on the asset side, ready to be used for long term care expenses.
I guess you could say that slaying the high cost of professional long term care makes most other tweaks to your retirement plan pail in comparison.
Brigitte Bromberg, MS, CFP®, CSA® is an independent insurance specialist who provides unbiased, consultative, solutions for long term care, life and disability insurance needs.
For more than 30 years Brigitte has worked diligently to provide clients the information and insight they need to make informed insurance decisions. President of Winning Strategies Group LLC, Brigitte loves speaking to groups, and she also loves helping people implement creative, smart insurance strategies.