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How Long-Term Care Insurance Eases Family Burdens

How Long-Term Care Insurance Eases Family Burdens

If you’ve been considering whether long-term care insurance is a good option for you, watch Theresa's story to see the enormous difference it made to her and her family, while helping to keep their retirement savings intact.

While many of us usually have no trouble turning to family for help in most instances, asking for help with long-term care is particularly difficult because of the time commitment and expense required. Many turn to Medicaid, which may offer limited choices in terms of care facilities. Healthcare costs for those requiring daily assistance can skyrocket into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, making long-term care insurance a valuable asset, no matter how generous your family members may be.

The bad news…

According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the majority of personal care is given by family caregivers. Data from this industry trade group shows that approximately 42 million caregivers are providing unpaid care to family and friends at any given time. The reality of it is that 51% of Americans need long-term care but only 14% own it (LIMRA and Life Happens 2013 study).

"These are dedicated and loving adult children with aging parents and good neighbors who provide an estimated $450 billion in unpaid care, but their generosity comes with a cost, often a very high cost in terms of disrupted lives,” says Jesse Slome, executive director at the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

The good news…

Long-term care insurance is about protecting the health and happiness of the policy holder. And purchasing long-term care plans can be affordable for those in good health. (Watch the video: "How much does long-term care cost?") Growing older shouldn’t mean having to worry about paying for medical bills and other care costs. A long-term care policy not only helps ensure that a person’s needs will be met in the future, it also means they may have an easier time affording them. However, it’s also important to remember that decisions regarding your long-term care affect those around you as well.

In short, family caregivers are often willing to help their loved ones but the process of giving long-term care can also take a heavy toll on their finances, in addition to the emotional and physical stress. For family members struggling to pay bills, keeping up with home loans and taking care of the rest of life’s economic demands, dealing with the high costs of long-term care can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, long-term care insurance that covers care in the home as well in a facility can be an affordable option for retirees looking to make sure they’re not needlessly burdening their loved ones with exorbitant care costs. Watch Long-Term Care 101 for more info on the basics.

Maybe you’re ready to learn more about how to get started? Visit the Long-term Care Resource Center to download your free long-term care planning kit.

The University of California, Santa Barbara Alumni Association receives financial benefits from the administrator that provides this program. These benefits fund alumni programs and activities.