Surgeon General: "All of us are aging ... to be clear" Planning Becomes Key
BY: Linda Maxwell
The White House Conference on Aging is today discussing the many issues that impact all Americans regarding aging, retirement and Long Term Health Care. This remains a huge issue as the advances in medical science allow us to all live longer, yet with age comes the much higher risk of needing help with activities of daily living or supervision.
US Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. told the crowd gathered today at the White House and viewing via the internet that the issue of aging is a very important public issue.
“All of us are aging no matter what age we are at, to be clear,” said Murthy.
The Surgeon General said he has had a conversation with his parents about aging and their future needs.
“The conversations we have had is how they can stay healthy and independent as they get older recognizing they want to be part of their children’s lives but they don’t want to be dependent on their kids for everything,” he said.
One way for people who have savings to protect is Long Term Care Insurance. Many experts say affordable Long Term Care Insurance should be part of a retirement plan. The reason, as experts explain, is the risk of a person needing some type of Long Term Care service is high.
The US Department of Health and Human Services says if a person reaches the age of 65 they have a 70% chance of requiring some type of Long Term Health Care service before they pass.
Henry Montag, an independent Certified Financial Planner from New York, says having a Long Term Care policy will not only provide the money required to pay for some or all of the expenses associated with their care, but will provide them with independence and peace of mind, knowing they’ll never be a burden to their kids or spouse.
“In my opinion a client should consider purchasing a long-term care insurance contract in their mid to late 50s, when their youth and good health will allow them to purchase this valuable protection at a lesser cost," Montag said.
Tax incentives exist on a federal level and some states also have tax incentives available. Matt McCann, a Long Term Care Specialist who assists clients throughout the country, says most states have partnership programs which provide additional asset protection.
“These partnership programs provide dollar for dollar asset protection if a person has a qualified policy. The Long-Term Care Partnership Program is a collaboration between state government and insurance companies. Under this partnership, applicants who purchase qualifying long-term care insurance policies can access Medicaid coverage while retaining assets they would normally be required to spend on their long-term care. This is referred to as dollar for dollar asset protection,” McCann said.
“We always try to tell people you should be prepared for that every day," says Nancy Coutu, co-founder of Money Managers Financial Group in Oak Brook, IL.
"Even if the plan is to work forever, Mother Nature often does things out of control, and you are forced into retirement,” she explained.
Most experts agree consumers should seek the help from a qualified Long Term Care Specialist who represents multiple top-rated companies. While there are few of these type of experts available, they will save you time and make sure you don’t spend more money to start with, assuming it is suitable for you to begin with.