Long Term Care: Controlling Your Options

Posted by Kelly McCarthy on

Many retirees are struggling with a very basic question: “If I live longer than expected, do I risk running out of money?”

To put the issue in context, let’s review some trends:

  1. People are living longer: the average life expectancy for a man reaching age 65 today is 84.3 and for a woman is age 86.61
  2. Inflation puts pressure on assets: the average annual inflation rate over the past 40 years is 4%2, which means $100 has the purchasing power of just $46 in just 20 years

  3. Health-related costs put pressure on assets: the national cost of nursing home care has increased by 4% per year over the past 5 years, with a national annual cost of $80,300 for a semi-private room3
  4. A majority of seniors will have long term care needs: 70% of people turning age 65 will need some form of long-term care during their lives4, as defined by assistance in performing basic activities of daily living

What is the implication of these trends? What happens if you live longer than expected? Can your estate absorb the costs? Do you want your estate to absorb these costs? What about your legacy intentions – your spouse, your children and grandchildren, your friends, charitable causes? How have you planned to address these unknowns?

Most people have experienced a loved one needing assistance as they age. Initially, the care might come in the form of a family member – a spouse, a child, a child’s spouse, or a friend. However, this usually proves burdensome and unsustainable, as the spouse also might experience health issues or the child, child’s spouse, or friend might have competing responsibilities, like a job or children. Following this might be some form of external assistance – perhaps a professional caretaker or a facility. However, the costs can put tremendous stress on a nest egg. What is the impact of over $80,300 in annual bills? Is this where you would choose to spend your hard-earned wealth? What about your spouse’s needs? What about your other legacy objectives?

The insurance industry has created a variety of products for protecting against this risk and providing you with greater control over your options. Individual policies, group policies, and hybrid life insuranceand annuity policies with long term care provisions are available, and the insurance can be funded multiple ways, including by the insured or their children, among others. There’s no such thing as waiting and deciding to address it in the future. We don’t know what the future holds. Now is the time to plan. If the issues highlighted in this article are concerns, engage your financial advisor to learn more about long term care options for you and your loved ones.


Jason Oshins is a Financial Advisor with Wealth Strategies Group. He works closely with clients throughout the country to increase wealth during lifetime, improve income during retirement, and provide a greater legacy upon passing, while also protecting their estate from taxes, inflation, and market volatility. He specializes in the areas of estate planning, investments, retirement planning, insurance planning and design, disability protection, long-term care, wealth transfer, and business planning. Jason obtained his MBA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He can be reached at (702) 735-4355 x 218 or at jason.oshins@wealthsg.com


1 Social Security Administration, https://www.ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html

2​  Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/cpi/

3 Genworth 2015 Cost of Care survey; In Nevada, the 2015 cost for a semi-private room is $86,140 and for a private room is $98,550. Nevada costs for homecare are nearly $50,000 per year.

LongTermCare.gov, www.longtermcare.gov

This material contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Guardian or its subsidiaries and such opinions are subject to change without notice. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, and employees do not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or accounting professional regarding your individual situation.
Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS), 6455 S. Yosemite Street, Suite 300, Greenwood Village, CO 80111, 303-770-9020. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. Wealth Strategies Group is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian.2016-20605 Exp. 3/18

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