The baby boomers are pushing life expectancy numbers way beyond those of previous generations.
You might remember a great comedian who said, “If I would have known how long I was going to live, I would have taken better care of myself!” I am also sure than many current retirees are saying, “If I would have known how long I was going to live, I would have saved more money!” Well, the baby boomers still have time to shore things up financially and put more money away. But they, along with current retirees, need to maximize and preserve their financial nest eggs. And that’s where the Safe Money Places® Agent Network and the Safe Money Places® website come in. Our goal is to help you meet and even exceed your retirement financial needs with efficiency and safety.
Research scientist Dr. Christopher M. Callahan (Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana)) writes that the “graying o f America raises red flags.” He notes that “at the beginning of the 20th Century there were approximately 16,000 Indiana residents age 65 and older and they made up less than 5% of our state’s population.” (I am confident that there are similar statistics for your state.) In the early 1900s, these people could expect to live another 12 years, but look how the numbers have changed! Dr. Callahan goes on to say that “at the beginning of the 21st Century, Indiana had 800,000 people aged 65 and older (12% of the state’s population) and there’s a good bet that they will live to 85.”
Well this is great news! People are living longer, and this trend, thanks in large part to medical breakthroughs, will continue – people will continue to live even longer. The problem is that they will require more health care. It’s like a great car with 100,000 miles on it. The car will continue to run, but it needs more check-ups and assistance. The same holds true for today’s retirees. They run a great risk of needing more medical assistance (older Americans already account for 1 out of every 3 health care dollars spent). This is problematic.
I served on the Board of Trustees of one of Indiana’s major hospitals, so this information is not new to me. Craig Wilson, M.D., Geriatrician, Residency Program Director and Hospice Service Director at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis acknowledges that modern medicine has brought many people into advance age, but says, “This has also produced a growing population prone to chronic disease and disability. Many will need medical assistance at many times during retirement.” Like that car with 100,000 miles that still runs and needs help – not the junkyard – many seniors will also need help – not a nursing home – but that help can still be quite expensive! So, what should you do? What is the answer?
First of all, let’s look at Medicaid to clarify a couple of misconceptions: Medicaid only pays for nursing home stays not for home health care in most cases. And, you must be destitute – totally out of money and assets – to qualify for Medicaid in most cases.
Now obviously, a retiree could have purchased long term care insurance with home health added; however, most don’t. Many retirees are investigating what is called a “hybrid” type of plan – an annuity or life plan with a long term care rider or an accelerated benefit that they can use for nursing home AND home health care needs. Most of these hybrids are “single premium plans” – you pay only one payment to buy the plan.
Also, many of these hybrid plans will make the “death benefit” available to you if you are not able to perform just two (2) of what are known as “Activities of Daily Living” (ADLs), such as bathing, taking medicines on time, cooking, etc., but do not need to be in a nursing home or have home health care. Once your doctor confirms that you cannot perform two (2) ADLs, you begin to receive your money. And, on some of these policies, a lifetime “Return of Premium Guarantee” is available.
Our goal at Safe Money Places® is to help you accumulate your nest egg, but also to help you preserve, protect, and defend your money. To learn more about this type of hybrid product – along with income planning – to help you achieve your Retirement Financial Needs, contact your Safe Money Places® Agent or just give us a call at 877-844-0900.
Living longer can mean living better by preparing for your retirement years now!