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Boomers: Prepare for long-term care needs

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Every day until 2029, about 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65.  Most are unprepared for the consequence of aging.

"Americans are living longer and we all want to age with dignity, independence and choice but that requires planning that few undertake," declaresJesse Slome, director of theAmerican Association for Long-Term Care Insurance(AALTCI). 

November marks Long-Term Care Awareness Month, an opportunity for boomers to begin the conversation and determine if their financial plan can withstand the costs associated with living a long life.

"Too many families wait to address long-term care and find they have very limited options once care is needed," addsTiffany Albert, president and CEO ofLifeSecure Insurance Company, a LTC insurance provider and supporter of LTCAM.  "Planning ahead is critical to ensure care is received in a preferred setting, such as at home, and avoid serious consequences that will impact the entire family."

Few boomers recognize that most who reach age 65 will need some form of long-term care. "Government has no plan in place to deal with the needs of millions of aging boomers and few have set aside money to cover costs," Slome notes. "Initiating conversations may be difficult, but having them now ensures that a plan is created that reflects your wishes and prepares and engages those you love."

Slome and Albert urge boomers to evaluate their options and preferences.

"People mistakenly associate long-term care with nursing home care, but most care actually takes place at home or in the community," Slome acknowledges. "Either way, the costs are significant as is the toll on loved ones who typically are called on to provide care. Long-term care insurance can be an affordable option but many wait too long so it's not available because they're either too ill or it's too expensive."

According to AALTCI's Awareness Month report, over half (54%) of new long-term care insurance applicants are between ages 55 and 64. Insurers paid about$7.5 billionin claim payments to more than 273,000 policyholders last year. Over half (51%) of new claims were for home care services and women accounted for 64% of claims.

To learn more aboutlong-term care insurance planningincluding ways to reduce costs for this important protection, read five free consumer guides available on the AALTCI's website or call 818-597-3227.

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