A Lesson from Her Parents: Long Term Care Insurance

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Before last year, Ruth Cokely had given little thought to purchasing long term care insurance. In her late 50’s, and in excellent health, Ruth was enjoying retirement after working for the government for the last 30 years. Long term care insurance was the last thing on her mind.

As Ruth’s mother and father aged, they began to need more and more help. First it was helping with the laundry, light housekeeping, and cooking an occasional meal. As her parents’ health worsened, it was obvious to Ruth that her parents needed more than an occasional visit.

Ruth and her brother decided that they would split the duty of taking care of Mom and Dad. The thought of putting them into an assisted living facility or nursing home was out of the question. They alternated living at their parents’ house to care for their every day needs, one week at a time. As time progressed and conditions progressively got worse, it was evident that something else needed to be done. The retirement that Ruth was just beginning to enjoy was a thing of the past. She and her brother were now full-time caregivers to their parents. Aside from the new financial obligations, it was also taking a toll on their mental health.

After a consultation with Colin Meeks, a Certified Financial Planner with Senior Resources, Inc. in Parkville, Ruth was referred to an elder law attorney to get her parents affairs in order so that they could be admitted to an assisted living facility. Unfortunately, getting their affairs in order cost them dearly because they had no insurance to cover the tremendous costs of the facility. Over the course of the first 12 months of being in the assisted living facility, Ruth’s parents spent their entire life savings on care and were now eligible for Medicaid.

After seeing her parents go through this financial devastation, Ruth considered purchasing long term care insurance for her and her husband. She did not want her two daughters to ever be in the position of having to take care of her or her husband. She did not want to burden them with having to make all of the tough decisions she had to make for her parents.

Long term care insurance was the missing piece to their retirement plan. Until Ruth’s parents had to spend down their life savings, the thought of purchasing long term care insurance would have never entered her financial picture. Now things were different. Long term care insurance was now a necessity to Ruth and her husband.

After several more consultations with Colin Meeks, Ruth and her husband purchased long term care insurance. By meeting with an independent financial planner, they were able to compare the costs and benefits with all of the top insurance companies that offer long term care insurance.

“It was very helpful to be able to compare several different companies all in one meeting knowing that we weren’t being pushed towards any one company,” concludes Ruth.

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