The New Face of Long-Term Care Insurance

New Options Are Changing the Way Seniors Plan for Retirement

Over the course of the last century, the advances in medicine and healthcare have created cures for ailments and diseases that once were considered fatal. Americans are now living longer, enjoying a higher quality of life and reaping the rewards in their retirement years.

In stark contrast to our increasing lifespans is the fact that we are woefully unprepared to accommodate and care for our burgeoning senior population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of people aged 65 and over is expected to nearly double between 2012 and 2050, from 43.1 million to 83.7 million. The United States Department of Health and Human Services reports that 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 will require long-term care.

Most Americans Unprepared to Meet Their Own Needs After Retirement

The gaps uncovered in a growing variety of studies and polls show that the majority of Americans are unprepared to meet their own needs after retirement. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research recently conducted a poll of 1,019 Americans aged 40 and over, and the results are staggering:

  • 52 percent said they had “a great deal or quite a bit of concern” about losing their independence and having to rely on others as they age.
  • 44 percent said they were moderately worried about being able to pay for the care they might need.
  • 35 percent had actually set aside money to pay for their long-term needs.

According to Tommy Groover of independent brokerage firm TM Groover Insurance Services in Thomasville, GA, there are a few reasons why Americans are confused about planning for their needs post-retirement.

“I’ve been in the long-term care and senior healthcare insurance markets for more than 30 years and I have seen many of my clients in the same position. They thought that Medicare would take care of them after they retired, but that just isn’t the case. The coverage for long-term care is pretty slim and covers about the first 20 days of care in a nursing home, and absolutely no coverage for assisted living or home health care.”

Groover saw the need for long-term care planning assistance as he watched his parents and his in-laws grow older, their needs increasing over time. He realized that his guidance was vital in protecting their assets, rather than losing everything they’d worked so hard to save over their lifetime.

“I’ve had about a half-dozen clients who have been on claim for up to $1.5 million,” admits Groover. “Most people think it will never happen to them – they’re mostly in denial – but those who had parents or grandparents who were in this situation have watched their family’s savings drain away while struggling to provide care for their loved ones due to lack of effective long-term care planning.”

Assisted Living is an Asset for Today’s Seniors

Groover sees his role as that of an educator. “Many years ago, the elders in the community were cared for at home because there really was no other alternative besides a nursing home, which was usually reserved for end-of-life scenarios or for seniors who had no other alternatives. I see assisted living as being a tremendous asset for today’s seniors due to the enhanced lifestyle and advanced care options as well as the safety and peace of mind that they provide both seniors and their loved ones.”

For individuals who are unfamiliar with long-term care insurance, commonly referred to as LTC, Groover leads workshops and seminars throughout the Thomasville area as a way to help educate seniors and families about the changing market, the various types of products available, and the important role that LTC insurance will play in most people’s lives.

“I’ve been doing a lot of educational seminars at senior living communities to show the benefits of connecting long-term care insurance with life insurance and annuities,” says Groover. “It often provides a safer investment without a lot of risk in the market. There have been a lot of changes in the products being offered in the last few years that can allow seniors to pay their premiums and later recoup their money if they don’t need to use the policy. In the event that a policyholder passes away without using the policy, the premiums can also be refunded to their beneficiaries. It’s really a win-win situation.”

Seniors and Families Are Invited to Learn More at Southern Pines Senior Living

On Thursday, June 21, 2016, Southern Pines Senior Living will be hosting a seminar, led by Groover and colleague Jamie McClinney, to explore long-term care planning and answer some of the most-asked questions regarding LTC insurance.

The best way to begin the planning process is to open up communication within the family. It is important for seniors to discuss their wishes with their adult children – before a crisis occurs – and to share the strategies they have in place. It can be uncomfortable for some, but it is critical, and will ensure adult children will honor their parents’ wishes while caring for their legacy.

Groover invites seniors, their families, and those preparing for retirement to this free event at Southern Pines Senior Living. Coffee and dessert will be served at 6:45 p.m. and the presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m. RSVPs are requested.

Please contact Judy Fusco, community relations manager at Southern Pines Senior Living, to reserve your spot today: (229) 226-6074 or jfusco@provisionliving.com.

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