Should I purchase long-term care insurance? - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Should I purchase long-term care insurance?

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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 8:49 am

This is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. Long-term care is a growing concern for baby boomers and their parents. Long-term care insurance, as a result, is gaining quite a bit of attention.

Whether or not you purchase long-term care insurance can be a very difficult decision, especially when finances are tight enough to make the monthly premium seem concerning. While long-term care insurance is not for everyone, it is without a doubt something everyone should learn about.

I cannot tell you how many people I have worked with who are under cared for and living in challenging conditions due to lack of finances. When you are at a point in your life when your physical and/or mental health is not as strong as it needs to be to care for yourself in all the ways we currently take for granted, the last thing you want is to make life harder on yourself. And what about your spouse? This is another all-too-common problem. One spouse has declined and the other is left to pick up the slack. Caring for another person’s daily personal care, keeping up with the house, medical appointments, cooking, shopping, driving, hospital/rehab visits (the list goes on…) is no easy feat; and it certainly isn’t something someone in their later years is built to handle very easily. It’s hard for anyone at any stage in life to keep up with. What about your children? Sure, you have wonderful, loving children. Unfortunately, children and extended family are not always available to help out, and even when they are, it is not wise to count on them to step in. There are too many unknowns in life.

When I work with people who are taking advantage of their long-term care insurance policies, I notice a much more worry-free, at ease lifestyle. Some have less extravagant policies than others, but they have the extra help around the house to take care of things and keep life’s challenges at bay. Their quality of life is much richer and their families are awarded peace of mind. When utilized, this is the type of policy that pays out tenfold.

Understandably, most of us are less than excited about the idea of relying on the uncertainty of insurance. No one wants to pay out for decades and never see anything in return. We insure our health, our homes, our vehicles, even our lives and rarely do we reap the benefits. The truth is, at this time in history, insurance is how we equip ourselves for the future. So, until something changes and unless you have a large and reliable nest egg, I would suggest, at the very least, speaking with someone about what a policy would include and how much it would cost you each month. There is a good chance that you will be pleasantly surprised at how much a policy will cost you each month (potentially less than what you spend eating out each month) and the wide array of support it will offer you. I know I was.

There are some wonderful people available to help you make a decision that is right for you and your family. I am happy to point you in the right direction. Email me for more information.

• Stacey Conkle is a longtime East Valley resident and community liaison working closely with seniors and their families during times of transition. Send questions and comments to

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