I will reach the big age of 49 soon and it is time to start thinking about long-term care insurance. The women in my family have been subject to several nasty diseases that not only shorten life span but also require constant care for several years. In preparation for getting older I have been looking in to purchasing long-term care insurance.
Can I avoid poor health in my old age and save myself money delaying the purchase of long-term care insurance by making better lifestyle choices? I see a lot of disease at my work and much of it is related to lifestyle choices. Weight, smoking, drinking, being unhappy or depressed all seem to cause or contribute to disease. I am attempting to make better life style choices to decrease my health care costs when I am older.
I have been frightened by the latest television commercial presented by the Heart and Stroke Foundation that says we can make the last years of our life healthy and productive by making good life style choices now. It shows a very frail man being helped with all his activities. It also shows the same elderly man, except he had made better life style choices, enjoying good physical health and mobility in his final years.
If I think I am going to be healthy when I am older than I can delay purchasing the long-term care insurance and focus on saving up lots of years worth of retirement income. If I think I am not going to live a long time or that I will need many years of nursing care I could slow my retirement savings to a trickle and live it up now. All I would have to do is buy good long-term care insurance.
Guessing how long you will live and if you will be an invalid for years is a crap shoot. The United Nations life expectancy tables states that the average life expectancy for a Canadian woman is 82.81 years. How many years will I be partying hard and how many will I be spoon fed?
Mike, my car and house insurance guy, says that because I am healthy (we did not discuss my current BMI -body mass index) long-term care insurance would not be too expensive now but that I could probably still get the same rate for the next 3 or 4 years. He also tells me that long-term care insurance is not very popular in Canada but that it sells well in the USA. I asked if that was because Americans have to pay for their own retirements but Canadians expect our government to pay for a lot of the care. He thinks that may be part of it. He asked if I would be happy in a ward room with 3 other people of assorted sexes or if I would prefer a room with just 1 roommate. People relying on the government end up in ward rooms and people who have planned can enjoy peace and quiet in a semi-private room.
I asked about a private room. Insurance guy Mike knows a bit about my financial situation. He has been to my very small, modest home and photographed it and the dog hair for insurance purposes. He is aware of my HELOC (home equity line of credit) and he knows where I work. He very delicately let me know that affording insurance for a private room in a private long-term care facility was out of my reach financially.
I will delay purchasing long-term care insurance until I am 53 years of age and then I will have to decide how much I can afford every month to help me be happy in my final years. Growing old is expensive. Growing old is not something that I am looking forward to. Growing old is much better than the alternative.