David Haynes - Headshot David Haynes

David Haynes, CLTC, is an independent insurance broker specializing in long-term care insurance planning. Contact David at 336-314-1698 or david@haynesltc.com.

I am honored to write a few thoughts about extended care planning each quarter. The objective of my column is to equip you, the reader, to prepare for an unannounced health event leading to a short or long term care event that could potentially have huge consequences to your retirement plan. Sometimes it’s only one reader whose comments make it all worth the effort. I learned just last week from a column I wrote four years ago made a difference in a family decision to obtain long term care insurance. They picked up this Guide at a local retailer and inquired of my thoughts. The family member is now filing a claim after suffering a stroke. My article in this publication made the difference. There are dollars now where before there were none. Their first words to me were, “Thank you!”

You plan to enjoy a long and happy retirement life, and not planning on a long term care event where you will be dependent on the care from others. You hope it doesn’t happen, but with a very high probability that it could, are you prepared? If you don’t have some type of long term care insurance policy to protect yourself as you age, don’t put it off. The longer you wait, the greater the chance of your health not allowing you to obtain coverage, in addition to the premiums costing more. I’m glad my client didn’t put it off.

In my 30+ years in the insurance business, I’ve seen hundreds of situations where a planned decision was not made before an actual event occurred and families suffered due to a lack of planning. If you know of one experiencing a long term care event right now, ask them how they prepared for paying for the cost of care. More than likely they will say they wish a policy would have been in place. If they encourage you to consider a policy, please take their advice.

Long term care insurance provides dollars to pay for needed care in the home or facility setting in the event of an extended illness or accident. It is assistance provided to loved ones because of their inability to perform the normal activities of daily living due to an illness, injury, or cognitive impairment such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Our knowledge is often limited by the assumption that only the frail and feeble need care. That is only a small part of the population. Health insurance and Medicare do NOT pay for long term care expenses. It’s cash and/or a long term care policy. For the business owner, LTCi premiums may be partially or fully deductible as a business expense under IRC laws.

As we enter a new season, consider implementing a plan and enjoying the peace of mind that it can provide. If you’ve read this far, you may want to take one more step of having a conversation. It cost you nothing to ask. If you have a policy, please share this with a friend and encourage them to look into it. If you are in the midst of providing care now for a spouse, partner, or parent, keep the hope and don’t give up. You’re doing the right thing. I know, I’ve been there before.