Then & Now

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April 12, 2020

Myths You May Mistakenly Believe About Long-Term Care

Preparing for a pleasant retirement should include considering a long term care planning solution.

(NAPS)—As you develop your retirement plans and think about how a potential need for long-term care may impact those plans and your loved ones, certain misconceptions may prevent you from taking action.

So—let’s dispel these seven common long-term care myths:

Myth #1: I’ll never need long-term care.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, almost 70 percent of Americans turning 65 today will need some type of long-term care in their remaining years.1

Myth #2: Government programs will cover all of my long-term care expenses.

Medicare pays for nursing home care, but only a portion of the costs for a maximum of 100 days and only if the three-day hospital stay requirement has been met. And, while Medicaid covers certain long term care costs, it’s intended to be a safety net for those with limited or minimal income and assets. To qualify for benefits, you must spend nearly all of your savings and reduce most of your assets before the government will step in to help.

Myth #3: My family will take care of me.

The financial, physical, and emotional stress that full-time care giving may place on families can be

overwhelming. Sometimes the best way to take care of a loved one needing long term care is to ensure they have access to professional care. With advances in home care services, many people needing long term care are actually able to stay at home, with or near family, and still receive the professional care they need.

Myth #4: I can pay for my long term care out-of-pocket.

In 2018, nursing home costs averaged more than $91,000 a year nationally.

2 The majority of Americans would quickly deplete their retirement savings if they needed care for an extended period of time. Even if you can afford to cover long-term care services out-of-pocket, consider the benefits of sharing the risk and costs using a long-term care planning solution such as insurance.

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, October 10, 2017.
2 2018 New York Life Cost of Care Study.

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