What's the motivating sentiment at the heart of long term care planning? No, it's not fear of care costs or gaps in Medicare. It's not a concern about medical conditions or Medicaid eligibility.
I'm talking about love. Yes, I know Valentine's Day is in the rear-view mirror. That's OK. The kind of love I'm talking about transcends flowers and cards.
Consider the motivation that causes a young parent to purchase their first large life insurance policy. The motivation? We would all guess love. Love for the other parent, were something to happen and, of course, for the baby. Writing a check for life insurance and going through the application process is just the kind of self-sacrificing love that parents express in a myriad of ways.
Nowhere is the sentiment of love clearer than the purchase of life insurance. After all, the insured won't even be alive to benefit in any way!
A different - but related - kind of love is displayed when a person purchases disability insurance. You could argue that the motivation is rather selfish, since - when someone is sick or hurt and can't work - disability insurance replaces their lost earned income. That's true. But it can also be said that a kind of self-love is at work here. The kind of healthy self-esteem that causes someone to allocate dollars, -that could be used for something more "fun"- toward protecting their future income.
I believe that for most people the motivation to do long term care planning - and to purchase long term care insurance - lies somewhere between the two scenarios above.
The long term care planner understands very well that their care choices are greatly enhanced by having private long term care insurance. After all, long term care insurance benefits add to the amount of money someone has available for care.
When you talk to the owner of a private pay home care agency or the director of an assisted living facility, you will learn that they love long term care insurance. Why? It makes it easier for someone who needs care services to afford the cost. The average cost for private Home Health Care services in NJ is $22-25 per hour. Assisted Living typically starts at about $6500/mo.
We know that the casualties of failing to plan for long term care can be great. Life savings, inheritances and retirement income fall victim to expensive professional (paid) caregiving. Interrupted careers and strained familial relationships are among the costs frequently borne by informal (unpaid) caregiving.
Whether they are caring mothers or fathers or simply desirous of private pay choices should long term care be needed, smart people can easily fall in love with the benefits of having a long term care policy.
Valentine's Day is past. But Mother's and Father's Days are straight ahead. What better way to show your children how much you love them - than the purchase of a long term care insurance policy?
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.