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In it for the long haul: An aging population considers long term care

Seniors consider long term care.Beginning January 1st, some 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 years old every day for the next two decades. That means more people than ever before will be entering retirement and, insurance agent Murray Gordon hopes, begin planning for long term care.

“We hope we’ll never need care, but chances are we will,” Gordon says. As CEO of the MAGA Insurance Agency, 2610 Lake Cook Rd., Riverwoods, he helps people prepare for their futures and choose insurance plans based on their individual needs. Gordon spoke at Weiss earlier this month, offering advice to seniors on how to approach their long term care options.

Because the average life expectancy in the United States has reached beyond the mid-80s, preparing for care costs in those later years is vital. Gordon offered the following national averages to illustrate:

  • Nursing home private room: $247/day
  • Assisted living facility: $3200/month
  • In-home nurse: $54/hour
  • Adult day care (an increasingly popular option): $67/day

To pay, people generally use either Medicare, private health insurance, Medicaid, veterans’ benefits, self-funding or long term care insurance. “In a world of fluctuating markets, skyrocketing healthcare costs and uncertain solvency of government programs, the consequences of an unexpected long term care event can be devastating,” Gordon says. “A well thought out plan for retirement and family legacy can quickly derail.”

The benefits of long term care insurance are far-reaching. It covers all types of care, not only illnesses and hospitals approved by Medicare. These policies can never be denied or lessened (unlike auto or health insurance), and they are portable—meaning that if you move out of Illinois to another state, your insurance travels with you.

In considering various plans, Gordon says people should decide the length of care they may want, the amount they can pay and how they pay. Businesses that offer this type of insurance include Genworth, John Hancock, Mass Mutual, Money Guard, Mutual of Omaha, One America, Prudential, Transamerica and United of Omaha.

More than 8 million people currently have long term care insurance. They use it to cover conditions and ailments such as dementia, arthritis, circulatory issues, stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and more. Even if the insurance goes unused, the peace of mind is invaluable, Gordon says.

“It protects your assets,” he adds. “It’s as simple as that.”

For more information, consult your insurance provider. You can also contact Gordon at (847) 940-8866, or visit www.MAGAltc.com.

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