The sad truth is this: issues that come with preparing for long term care in the United States do not only affect the individual, it also has devastating effects on their spouses and children. Long term care planning as an individual is difficult, but it becomes especially challenging when you have your family to consider, as well.
This is why ALTCP.org aims to discuss these problems in hopes of helping individuals and their families in securing a stable future. For the first part of our long term care planning series, we will be highlighting the challenges that fathers face.
Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family. In this day and age, long term care has been a big concern for many that a simple act of kindness can make a world of difference.
When we talk about the challenges of long term care in America, we often highlight the struggles that women face in securing the twilight years. Often the primary concern focuses on how the female gender gets the shorter end of the stick in the final years because of longevity and higher costs. Of course, these are valid concerns that we will talk about in the second part of the long term care planning series.
For the first part, however, let us look at the other side of the coin. While women face significant challenges, such as higher costs and longer years of requiring care, men also have substantial roadblocks to overcome.
Long Term Care Statistics
We have all heard it before that some might even consider it cliché; however, the weight of the message still rings true. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of individuals turning 65 will require long term care in the later years.
From a family’s perspective, the concern is that while men (2.2 years) need the services for a shorter span than women (3.7 years), they most likely need it earlier. Without proper coverage to back up the costs, families can easily spiral down into bankruptcy. Spouses and children use their resources to pay for their husband’s and father’s care.
The Danger of Delaying
One of the many truths that many people do not really think about is this: women live longer than men. It seems like a harmless statement, though, doesn’t it?
However, it becomes complicated when you bring long term care into the picture.
Men and women have varying views on long term care. Often, a husband readily looks to his wife to provide the care that he needs. Without coverage, a big chunk of their savings is in danger of going to his care. We have established that care costs are sky-high, and these can quickly eat away any couple’s savings. When this happens, the wife is then left to face long term care necessities just on her own AND with limited resources.
She then has no choice but to look to her children for support despite their own problems of getting by in today’s world. Nowadays, the sandwich generation—as society has now dubbed them—not only worry about boomeranging children, they also have their aging parents’ care on their plates. It then creates an unhappy environment riddled with anxiety and stress, as well as feelings of being a burden.
Long Term Care: Planning Ahead Pays Off
It goes without saying that there are many benefits to planning ahead for long term care. When we hear “long term care,” we immediately associate it with the elderly and nursing homes. While these services are typically required by those of the older generations, 35% of the care recipients are in fact younger than 65. These are the people who have gone through major operations, have had accidents, or developed health conditions early. So how do you start planning?
Well, you do it early and effectively.
Find coverage that fits your lifestyle and is comprehensive enough to cover your potential care needs. Bear in mind that this takes a lot of research on your part.
Many have chosen long term care insurance as their weapon of choice, and they are satisfied with it. In fact, in a study done by LifePlans, Inc., approximately 90% of individuals with long term care insurance are satisfied with the amount of coverage they purchased. On top of that, eight in 10 consumers state that filing a claim is easy and that 89% did not have to purchase any additional services not covered by their policy.
Because this is a product that is also designed to protect a person’s assets, long term care insurance is ideal for fathers and husbands who want to protect their family members from unstable care costs.
- Consult with a financial specialist or an insurance agent before you make significant decisions. Yes, the final decision is still yours, but there are also so many rooms for errors.
- Do not pile up on additional policies that you most likely will not need. Sometimes, less is more.
- Consider a shared care plan with your wife. This way, you both could potentially have access to more funds. It will help her immensely should she have to face the costs alone.
Do you have any other tips on how to find coverage? How else can fathers and husbands help protect their families from long term care costs? Let us know in the comments section!
Also, stay tuned for the next part of the Long Term Care Planning Series where we will be talking about long term care from a mother’s perspective. See you next week!