Last week’s column was entitled “Why you don’t need long term care insurance” and as I was writing the column, my wife, Debbie, walked into my office and noticed the headline. She immediately started a conversation with me that went something like this.
“What are you doing? Are you serious? Why are you saying that people don’t need long term care insurance? Two years ago you said we needed it, so we bought it, and now you’re saying not to buy it?” “Hold on Debbie . . . I’m not saying that at all, you have to read the entire column, not just the headline.” “Well Brian . . . you better fix it or you’ll have a lot of upset people.”
If you didn’t get a chance to read last week’s column, you can find the link on our web site www.wolftax.com under the media icon.
So I guess in this week’s column I will attempt to “fix” the not so hidden sarcasm and just say; almost everyone NEEDs long term care insurance! You need it because you care about what happens to your spouse, you care what happens to your kids, friends and other relatives, and you care about what happens to yourself.
Let’s start with yourself; how would you feel if someone told you today that you had to go live at the nursing home in White Bear Lake, MN? You would probably think, yea right, over my dead body. But guess what? You’re not dead, so you have to go.
What I’m talking about here is that most people don’t want to go into a nursing home, but don’t have a choice; a choice of when, a choice of how, a choice of where. One of the last indignities of life could mean being shipped off to a place that you hate.
Now let’s talk about your spouse, how would it make you feel to take your entire life’s financial security and throw it away? Your spouse now has to suffer the greatest of burdens; your failing health and the stress of having no money.
When I say no money, I’m referring to the pittance that they government will allow the spouse to keep. If you think you will be protected because you are wealthy and you just plan on self insuring that risk, then I’d seriously wonder how you got your wealth if this was an example of how you made important decisions.
You see, we work with plenty of very wealthy clients, but I haven’t met anyone yet who didn’t have home-owners insurance. Even if they can build a brand new house on their own, they know that it’s a good decision to cover that risk.
Not even the wealthy want to potentially waste hundreds of thousands of dollars by self-insuring a long term care situation.
So what about the caring spouse, kids, friends, and relatives? Won’t there be someone to give the necessary care? The answer to that is probably not. It’s not that someone won’t want to help; but wanting to help and being about to are two totally different things. I’ve seen many people try to do the care giving and just can’t, emotionally or physically. Besides, do you really want these people doing the daily very personal care things that you’re not able to do yourself?
I could go on and on with dozens of examples of why in almost any situation, people should have long term care coverage. The sad truth is that almost everyone can afford a plan, but it’s just like everything else in life... priorities.
How important are the things I’ve just gone over to you? A quick note to anyone in their late 40s and early 50s - now is the absolute perfect time to get your plan set up. Also, there are so many different plans and programs today that you can truly customize a great plan for yourself. And yes, you can even get a plan that if you don’t ever need long term care coverage, then you don’t have to pay for it!
Because this is such an ever-changing and specialized area, I would suggest that you get all the facts today, so you can make the right decisions for a peaceful and secure future.