Long-Term Care Considerations

Long-Term Care Considerations

BECU Investment Services

Presented by Priscilla Suhre, Financial Advisor

People today are living longer than ever before, making it more important than ever to consider long-term care in their financial planning.

Overlooking a longer life expectancy may leave you unprepared for changes in your financial situation, and potentially negatively impact your savings, investments and your loved ones. A little knowledge and proper planning is key, and may help provide financial independence and preserve your family's quality of life.1

Consider that:

  • 70% of people turning age 65 can expect to use some form of long term care, and 20% of them will need long-term care for longer than 5 years2.
  • The average life expectancy in the U.S. did not reach 65 until 50 years ago. But now, at age 65, you could expect to live up to 20.9 years more—to almost 863!

  • Risk isn't just to those over 65. Nearly half (41%) of long-term care is provided to people 18-64 years old, due to disease, injury or other disabling conditions or accidents4.

  • About 42.1 million unpaid family caregivers provided an estimated value of $450 billion in 2009. Long-term care doesn't necessarily mean entering a nursing home right away. In fact, most care is provided at home4,5.

Long-term care (also referred to as Long-Term Support Services) is care that is needed when you can no longer perform activities of daily living (or ADLs) by yourself due to a chronic illness, injury, disability or the aging process. Eating, dressing, bathing, transferring, continence and toileting are all activities of daily living. Care includes the supervision you might need due to a severe cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer's disease). It is important to make the distinction that long-term care is not medical care. It is not intended as a cure. Rather, it is chronic care that — once started — you might need for the rest of your life and often is needed for several years2.

Depending on the type and location of the care you need, long-term care can be very expensive and not easy to comfortably afford from savings and investments. For instance, the Annual Genworth Cost of Care survey for 2017 shows that simple adult day care in Washington state can cost as much as $41,600 per year; and, care in a full assisted-living facility can be as much as $126,0006!


Long-term care options

  • Self-insure (pay out of pocket) — if your nest egg is large enough.
  • Be taken care of by a loved one. Children often bear this responsibility, but this puts a heavy strain on them, as it may require one of them to quit working.
  • Use the limited coverage provided by Medicare (paid by Medicaid once you have exhausted the majority of your own financial resources).
  • Use some type of long-term care insurance — of which there are many variations to fit to individual needs.

Getting started

Comprehensive planning for long-term care entails an examination of your current financial resources and then taking steps toward methods that will help you address your future needs. First, be sure to include the long-term care conversation in your retirement planning discussions with your Financial Advisor. Your advisor should be able to show you the options and how much they will cost. Second, take the family approach. Have a conversation with your family during the upcoming holidays – it's a perfect time to have a frank “what if” discussion. Multiple children commonly pool resources to help fund long-term care coverage, helping make it more affordable and manage the risk of a big impact on their own finances. Finally, don't wait: Because much depends on your personal circumstances and the costs of coverage increase every year you get older, the most important thing you can do is to start planning today.

Financial advisors* with BECU Investment Services are here to help. Click here to set up a complimentary consultation or call 206-439-5720.


This material contains only general descriptions and is not a solicitation to sell any insurance product or security, nor is it intended as any financial or tax advice. For information about specific insurance needs or situations, contact your insurance agent. This article is intended to assist in educating you about insurance generally and not to provide personal service. They may not take into account your personal characteristics such as budget, assets, risk tolerance, family situation or activities which may affect the type of insurance that would be right for you. In addition, state insurance laws and insurance underwriting rules may affect available coverage and its costs.

*Financial Advisors are registered with, and Securities and Advisory Services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance Products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates.  BECU and BECU Investment Services is not a registered broker/dealer and has a brokerage affiliate arrangement with LPL Financial. Investments are:

Not NCUA/NCUSIF Insured Not Credit Union Guaranteed Not Obligations Of BECU May Lose Value

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1 https://www.lfg.com/public/individual/exploreinsuranceannuities/longtermcareplanning?d=Desktop 

2 https://www.ltcfeds.com/start/aboutltc_whatis.html

3 https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/long-term-services-and-supports-older-americans-risks-and-financing-research-brief

4 https://www.longtermcareprimer.com/basics/

https://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/ppi/ltc/i51-caregiving.pdf

6  https://pro.genworth.com/riiproweb/productinfo/pdf/179703.pdf