According to a U.S. Census Bureau report, life expectancy has increased to 19.1 years for 65-year-olds. In the early 1900s, the life expectancy for the same age group was just 11.9 years. Needless to say, the population is living longer than ever before. Our second largest generation, the Baby Boomers, have a higher life expectancy than previous generations. This can largely be attributed to diagnostic testing, modern medicine, and healthier lifestyles leading to the prevention, early detection, and treatment of chronic illnesses that may have once rendered us disabled or worse. But at what cost?
The Consequences of Longevity
Without proper planning, living a long life can be a liability to your retirement plans. The longer you live, the higher probability you will need long-term care services. According to AARP, individuals over the age of 70 file 95% of long-term care claims, and nearly 70% of total claims are filed by people older than 81. Unfortunately, many Americans dismiss the thought of long-term care because they are healthy today.
Here are a few concerns of longevity to consider:
- Higher health care costs – When you live longer, your cumulative health care costs will be more than a person with chronic illness who passes away younger in life.
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s – The risk of developing a memory issue increases as you age.
- Widowhood – The probability of widowhood increases with age. By age 85 and older, one in three men are widowed and three in four women are widowed. Surviving spouses face higher expenses, lower income, and a greater chance of needing long-term care because they do not have a companion to help.
- Financial challenges – Exposure to fluctuations in inflation, cost of living, and the investment market can disrupt retirement plans.
Read More: Creating a Plan to Age in Place
The Solution: Long-Term Care Insurance
Purchasing a Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) policy allows individuals to safeguard their assets, protect their loved ones from being full-time caregivers, and maintain their choice of where to receive care. LTCI offers a daily or monthly benefit to receive care in a variety of settings, including at home. However, LTCI must be purchased when the individual is healthy before they require care. Make sure you’re discussing this vital product with your clients nearing retirement.
For more information on the longevity risk and LTCI, contact our team at The Krause Agency or schedule a Discovery Call with one of our in-house advisors.