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Old 01-07-2017, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Central IL
15,222 posts, read 8,518,332 times
Reputation: 35617

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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
I know mathjak can defend himself and has. I will say even though he has policies in place that are very good doesn't mean he has no worries. At the same time he is unique among the folks here. Still you asked for what people had or are doing.

Actually, what I asked for was specifically info from people CURRENTLY collecting. MathJak, among most others here are NOT.

Long term care is an unknown risk for all of us. Some are going to need care while others not. Options vary to people by income, state, savings and assets. Some of us can afford it and don't buy insurance. Some people can't afford it but yet really do need it.

It is less of an unknown for those who are currently collecting - that is why I wish to hear from them and get THEIR perspectives - to take some of the mystery and wishful/idealized thinking out of the discussion.

You asked a great question and you got some great responses. Only you can decide if LTCi is right for you. Only you can know what will work for you. Whatever you decide on becomes your plan. Honestly the is all anyone can really do is plan. Whatever the plan is you need to re-evaluate regularly making sure it is still the right path. If you decide LTCi is part of your plan go at it now. Things change fast and you might not be able to get it later. Also prices will only go up.

Re-evaluating sounds great in theory - but when it means - gee whiz...I can see now that this was a complete joke so I'll drop it after paying in $25 grand I REALLY hope that's not considered a good outcome.

So tell me, what makes buying LTCi so much more fraught with anxiety than buying homeowners insurance? Well, my homeowners coverage is set to the cost of my house which I can readily estimate...buying LTCi you GUESS at what you think you might need - which is also much more difficult than what you'd have to do with life insurance for your family. I've never experienced large premium increases on either my homeowners or life insurance so that seems quite predictable compared to LTCi, etc., etc.

It seems the only people to buy LTCi are the ones who have fully funded all their other retirement needs and can do LTCi relatively comfortably. Anyone who hasn't covered the other seemingly more essential needs of retirement seem to just cross their fingers?


There are a couple options you can also choose. One is if you can self insure all or part. That will lower premiums in the latter but will freeze assets in the former. Again it is your choice. Thanks for asking the question.
No - there are numerous options in terms of insurers and many different levels of coverage and the assurances that come along with those - that turns it into a "sausage factory" - it is hard to get a clear explanation of all of it that doesn't seem deceptive at some level, particularly when you hear some stories of policies not paying when folks think it should. I guess I'm just not cut out for blind faith.
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:51 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
790 posts, read 1,610,606 times
Reputation: 556
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Caldwell View Post
Shop for STCi first. Most people who go into nursing homes only last for 6 months.
Larry -- you are so RIGHT! Short Term Disability and Long Term Disability are key. Fund those first (if your employer doesn't), and then go for LTCi.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:07 AM
 
29,775 posts, read 34,860,277 times
Reputation: 11705
Quote:
Originally Posted by reneeh63 View Post
No - there are numerous options in terms of insurers and many different levels of coverage and the assurances that come along with those - that turns it into a "sausage factory" - it is hard to get a clear explanation of all of it that doesn't seem deceptive at some level, particularly when you hear some stories of policies not paying when folks think it should. I guess I'm just not cut out for blind faith.
Your points are very valid. In the process of trying to expand options to help folks manage cost, the consequences of your option selection also increases.

You are smart and have more of a handle than most. Try building the LTCi options and their ultimate use into your overall long term financial plan. I am not sure all with LTCi have a financial plan for paying the elimination period, medical cost prior to LTC and medical cost above what LTCi pays for
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Hampstead NC
5,578 posts, read 5,096,158 times
Reputation: 14060
Wow! you got a lot of responses!

As a federal employee, my dad bought LTC maybe 20 years ago? My understanding is that it was a fairly good policy that got discontinued shortly after he started it. I don't know that his premium ever changed. My mom has the same policy. What I don't like is that if you don't use it, you don't get anything back when you die. I hate to think of investing in it, then dropping dead before using it.

It had a cap of $160K which my dad was close to reaching when he passed. I don't know that it was better than some other investments would have been, but he had Alz. and it paid for his care (day care, then an alz facility) for the time it was needed. My dad was risk averse, lived frugally, invested cautiously.

My brother and SIL bought some recently. I don't make a lot of money right now, so I don't have it. I've decided that as soon as I go back to work full time, I'll be stuffing my retirement savings as much as possible, and count on that. Its not a very scientific decision on my part.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,845,678 times
Reputation: 6379
Quote:
Originally Posted by reneeh63 View Post
No - there are numerous options in terms of insurers and many different levels of coverage and the assurances that come along with those - that turns it into a "sausage factory" - it is hard to get a clear explanation of all of it that doesn't seem deceptive at some level, particularly when you hear some stories of policies not paying when folks think it should. I guess I'm just not cut out for blind faith.
First do not take my reply in defense of mathjak as a dig on you in fact I hoped that my post helped. This lat point here whic seems to a confusing point. To me it's simply one of three choices. No coverage, partial coverage and full coverage. There are very few insurers. The policies are varied but as I said they are either full or partial. You will either try to cover it all or find some level that makes sense to you.

So in closing if I offended you it was not my intention. Please accept my apologies.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Haiku
4,060 posts, read 2,571,078 times
Reputation: 5981
There have been some very good threads on this topic on bogleheads. The biggest concern that I got from those threads is that LTC policies have changed over the years and when you buy a policy, the terms can and do change for the policy holder. So you can be paying for years and years thinking you will get what you signed up for originally but you may not by the time you need it. LTC insurance companies are not bound by the terms of the original policy they sold you.

The problem is that more people are living longer so LTCi has become a losing proposition for insurance companies. Many have gotten out of it all together. If they are reluctant to be in the business, it makes me nervous that I will get what I need out of them.

Actuarial data shows that the likelihood of needing LTC is pretty high, so LTCi premiums have to be high since it is likely the insurance company is going to have to pay for your care. If my premiums are approaching the present-value of those future pay-outs, self-insuring becomes more viable. So that is what we are doing.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:27 AM
Status: "Re-edit status" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
4,164 posts, read 1,892,872 times
Reputation: 3190
Quote:
Originally Posted by reneeh63 View Post
No - there are numerous options in terms of insurers and many different levels of coverage and the assurances that come along with those - that turns it into a "sausage factory" - it is hard to get a clear explanation of all of it that doesn't seem deceptive at some level, particularly when you hear some stories of policies not paying when folks think it should. I guess I'm just not cut out for blind faith.
understand your angst.
Bankers Life hit with Oregon class-action lawsuit over long-term care insurance | OregonLive.com
Jim Cramer's family.

The reps who showed us LTCi stressed (circa 2002) that the buyer should have adequate resources to fund LTCi for decades and a few 100k in retirement assets, not including home. If you have considerably more, in assets, even the LTCi reps recognized that you could consider self-funding. Their stress was that you could leave a bigger legacy to your heirs with LTCi than doing self-funding.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,216,058 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Your points are very valid. In the process of trying to expand options to help folks manage cost, the consequences of your option selection also increases.

You are smart and have more of a handle than most. Try building the LTCi options and their ultimate use into your overall long term financial plan. I am not sure all with LTCi have a financial plan for paying the elimination period, medical cost prior to LTC and medical cost above what LTCi pays for
You may not need to pay a dime during the elimination period. My policy states that the period begins when you are eligible for long term care but not necessarily paying for long term care. For example, a family member could provide care in the home for 90 days and that period will count towards the elimination period.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Central IL
15,222 posts, read 8,518,332 times
Reputation: 35617
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
There have been some very good threads on this topic on bogleheads. The biggest concern that I got from those threads is that LTC policies have changed over the years and when you buy a policy, the terms can and do change for the policy holder. So you can be paying for years and years thinking you will get what you signed up for originally but you may not by the time you need it. LTC insurance companies are not bound by the terms of the original policy they sold you.

The problem is that more people are living longer so LTCi has become a losing proposition for insurance companies. Many have gotten out of it all together. If they are reluctant to be in the business, it makes me nervous that I will get what I need out of them.

Actuarial data shows that the likelihood of needing LTC is pretty high, so LTCi premiums have to be high since it is likely the insurance company is going to have to pay for your care. If my premiums are approaching the present-value of those future pay-outs, self-insuring becomes more viable. So that is what we are doing.
Thank you - this is interesting...I'll have to check out bogleheads - that is one of my biggest fears that the terms change over the 30-40 years you are waiting to use it.

Now, I"m sure someone will come on here and say "you have to read your annual premium notice and then drop the policy if you don't like the changes....after all you were covered for the period you paid for so you got your money's worth". But I don't buy that - I may be covered in my 50's and 60's while I'm paying but the odds of my needing it are very low...and probably if I do start collecting that early I'll be outliving my coverage compared to if I'd started collecting in my 80's.

So I don't consider that case to be a bargain at all. It feels more like I'm prepaying for a couple decades and the insurer is getting a great bargain on me for those years...later when I"m older and more likely to use it I'll get hit with a big premium increase! Are there any protections against that or is that how the premium is actually calculated? I need some transparency on that.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:59 AM
 
71,520 posts, read 71,694,121 times
Reputation: 49105
i look at it as i do any insurance . it covers me up to the moment . when my 55 year old co-worker had a stroke during a simple hip surgery operation and was left paralyzed age didn't matter .

crap can happen at any time so it is not just something that happens when we are old .

each year starts a new year of coverage , if i like the terms great , if not i was covered up to that point , paid for coverage up to that point and now i would be done if i don't like the terms . i am out nothing . no different than using little of my health insurance each year because i am not elderly and a heavy user . .in 64 years i never ever got out anything close to what i paid in to my health insurance . yet when the year is over , it's over and i paid for the years coverage .

Last edited by mathjak107; 01-07-2017 at 11:07 AM..
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