Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Long Term Care Insurance: A Looming Problem for Baby Boomers

Living in a segment of town where there are a number of retirees renting their own homes make me wonder how fail-proof their retirement plans are. I wonder if they have planned for a rather long retirement phase ahead, as most of us will live longer than our counterparts in generations preceding us. I wonder what they used for their retirement plans, if they worked and put aside money in their 401K or equivalent pension plans, or if they invested their money and are living off of interest or monthly payments from the investment. I wonder how many of them take up odd jobs to keep the rent paid, and what those jobs construe. Retirement is both fascinating and frightening because it can seem like a daunting task to live several decades of your life without an income stream that is an active job you currently hold.

If you are a baby boomer, chances are you've already made your decisions on retirement plans. The Baby Boomer segment in the US has long been touted as the largest group to enter retirement with the most amounts of problems in long term care and Medicaid access. Many of us know that Medicaid is not sustainable in the long run, which makes the case for long term care for boomers even worse. This is because when the largest group requiring long term care retires, the ratio of working age to elderly population will be at its lowest. The tax base that ought to be providing the source for Medicaid funds will be the smallest in 80 years. This is a very bleak picture that has serious implications with very few concrete solutions. Long term care insurance can hedge against these problems, especially because Medicaid only steps in once a senior has spent down almost all their assets and retirement income. 

An interesting notes on the issue however, is that many boomers who can afford long term care insurance have still not bought any. Many boomers might think it unnecessary but LTC insurance covers an important segment of long term care that is the most expensive item on the LTC list: nursing home care. Nursing home care and home health care coverage are now standard on almost all LTC policies. 

As we all wait for the Federal Reserve to announce its decision on its updated economic policy, many are anticipating its call on the reduction in bond purchases if it decides that the economy has been faring well for itself and could do with a reduction in stimulus packages. With so much uncertainty looming in the economy still, it might be best to self-insure against long term care expenses right now while the market is still relatively stable. Last year, some prominent long term care insurance players including Prudential, Unum and MetLife disbanded their LTC offerings, saying that it wasn't a profitable enough business segment to offer any more new policies to new consumers. Before the supply of long term care insurance diminishes further or worse, becomes prohibitively expensive, look up some quotes and consider purchasing a policy if you are a boomer nearing or already in retirement.

The statistics predict a glut of boomers spending on nursing homes about 30 years out from now. This group includes forty year olds as well, so if you think you're too young to even consider LTC, think again! The need for long term care will come upon you closer than you think.

Author bio: Frank Mitchell has worked as a life insurance agent for 10 years. After an accident in 2011 that kept him at home for more than a year, Frank started offering advice on forums and other social media networks. He now works as financial advisor and in his spare time writes articles on subjects he is passionate about. On the weekends, you’ll find Frank dirt biking.



  1. Pricing for the same level of long term care coverage can vary greatly between companies, with some companies charging over 100% more than others. Work with an independent insurance agent that can provide quotations from numerous companies. Let us research the market and design a long term care insurance solution to meet your needs and budget at:

    Aaron Skloff, AIF, CFA, MBA
    CEO - Skloff Financial Group

    1. I was quoted $200/month for long term care insurance. I work in construction so it is obviously higher. For someone making $50,000/year married w/6 kids, mortgage etc. the need is there but where does the money come from. Had to pass on it.

  2. Getting the right long term care insurance for baby boomers insures you a much better look into the future. It's time now to look for a licensed long term care insurance agent.

  3. One should always work with an independent insurance agent to ensure they get the best insurance coverage they need to provide for themselves and their families. Oftentimes it is smart to seek a second opinion as well. Just like with anything before you invest money into it the more you know the better!


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