Friday March 5, 1999
Well-known author and Chicago Sun-Times syndicated columnist Terry Savage recently published a two-part series recommending long-term care insurance. The articles are available on her web site at www.terrysavage.com. They explore the fundamentals of LTC insurance with practical advice and helpful examples.
The following is an excerpt from part one ("Policies Help Finance Long-Term Care Costs") of Ms. Savage's series:
"For the first time in history, there are more Americans 65 and older than there are teenagers. A man who is 65 can expect to live to 80, and a woman who is 65 is likely to live to 84. There's no doubt Americans are living longer than ever--and it's costing a lot more, too.
"A study by the Center for Long Term Care Financing [entitled "LTC Choice: A Simple, Cost-Free Solution to the Long-Term Care Financing Puzzle"] estimates that Americans face a roughly one in 10 chance of spending five or more years in a nursing home after age 65, at a cost of $40,000 to $80,000 a year. Another report says that if you are 65 or older, you are roughly 10 times as likely to go into a nursing home this year as you are to have your house burn down.
"You wouldn't go without homeowners insurance, so why not insure against the greater risk with long-term care insurance? That insurance is especially attractive now that the latest policies allow benefits to be paid for in-home care, so seniors don't have to move into a facility until and unless it is absolutely necessary.
"More and more baby boomers are buying long-term care insurance policies as a 'present' for their parents. They buy the policies not only to preserve their inheritance but to guard against spending their own retirement funds to take care of their parents. And those still in their 50s suddenly realize the annual premiums are far more attractive for them than for their parents. Since one in four applicants for long-term care insurance is turned down, it's better to buy a policy while you are younger and in good health."
Ms. Savage continues to be a consistent and effective advocate for planning ahead with long-term care insurance. Keep up the good fight, Terry!
You can order a copy of the Center's "LTC Choice" report cited by Terry Savage by contacting Nadia Morgen at 206-447-1340 or by clicking here to send your order ($24.95; free to media).
The exact web addresses for Ms. Savage's articles are http://www.suntimes.com/output/
savage/terry21.htm and http://www.suntimes.com/output/savage/terry2.html.