Write down three words along the left margin of a piece of paper. You will want to remember these words, as they are the collective key to unlocking a financial debacle that is imprisoning our nation. Simple, easy to remember, yet seemingly impossible for some to internalize:

  • Risk
  • Cost
  • Solution

The risk to which I am referring affects 60% sixty percent of all Americans, according to the Social Security Administration. The risk is that you will not be able to complete two of these next six Activities of Daily Living (ADL). You should write these down, too.

1. Dressing
2. Eating
3. Bathing
4. Transferring (moving from one place to another; getting up from a chair)
5. Continence (holding it in or needing a diaper)
6. Toileting (wiping your own bottom)

There is a risk that 60% of Americans will one day be unable to do 2 of those six activities.

Each American, because of his or her inability to perform at least 2 of the six aforementioned ADLs faces an average cost of $60,000 per year, according to MetLife, a leading Long-Term Care insurance provider. For an average of 4.8 years, each of us rely on someone else’s care that results in enormous costs to our savings plans, our children’s income and, most often, to our government.

Who wants to do the math? 4.8 years x $60,000/year = $288,000

Ladies and Gentlemen, the need for Long Term Care is the number one reason people are wiped out of all their income, investments and real estate. And they don’t usually even pay it all themselves. Churches, family members and (over half the time) our government picks up the bill for poor planning. In fact, within just 20 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, four budget expenditures will cover today’s entire national budget of almost $3 trillion!

#4 — Interest payments for our national debt
#3 — Social Security
#2 — Medicaid
#1 – Medicare

What’s even scarier is that Medicare will often not pay a dime for medical expenses until you have exhausted all but $2,000 in assets (and you can’t easily give them away with out penalty). We have to change things so the cost of our future is not too expensive.

There is a solution. Of course it is not cheap, but what is, especially when it comes to protecting our future? Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) can provide protection against having to move out of your home, bankrupting your children and even becoming a drain on society.

  • If you are over the age of 40, you need to be having this conversation.
  • If you are over the age of 50 and you don’t already have LTCI, you need to hurry!
  • If you are over the age of 60 and you don’t already have LTCI, it may be too late.

Not everyone goes to a nursing home, many don’t want to. There are options of assisted living so that you don’t have to leave your home. Other LTCI plans include family help and reimbursement options. Most LTCI companies now offer same-sex partner benefit discounts, just as married couples receive.

We now know the risks that 60% of America needs Long Term Care.
We also know the monetary costs of America needing Long Term Care.

The emotional costs are significant, too. Because of the effects of aging, need for care and dependency on others, depression, alcoholism and even suicide could all appear to some as worthy alternatives. Basically, if ever in your lifetime you need help to physically “do stuff” for extended periods of time, you will need some form of LTCI.

Am I trying to scare you into thinking you need this?

You bet I am! It is time to start taking care of ourselves so that we aren’t the burden on our families and society that we seem to be headed for.

20 minutes with your financial advisor could save you 20 years of worry.