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Old 02-19-2008, 09:24 AM   #1
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Before, During, After Airstreamin' opinion, please

We've been enjoying our retirement airstreaming. We also have elderly parents.

The question that has been on my mind recently, given that my elderly mom had to spend time in a rehab/skilled nursing facility after injuring herself has got me seriously thinking:

What about long term care insurance for ourselves?
What about term insurance?

Are any of you who love the airstream life experience addressing the 'golden' years of health and welfare challenges and issues that are in store for you?..do the 2 types of insurance fit into your financial budget?.. please pm me with your personal thoughts. if you prefer..thnx..
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:32 AM   #2
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Hi, and my sympthathy goes out to you, CodyBear; we are in a similar situation. My mother turns 90 in April, refuses any consideration of nursing home care, but is more and more dangerous to herself moving around in her home alone. We do not have long term insurance on her or ourselves, and it worries me more than my DH, I'm afraid. Costs are through the ceiling. Every day I wake up with a feeling of dread of what may happen hanging over me. I hope your opening post opens up this discussion here in this thread so that we as well as others on the forum who are probably in similar situations can get some ideas for dealing with elderly (parents and someday ourselves!) care. ~G
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:45 AM   #3
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Hi Georgia,

Thnx much..I agree w/you on the cost..hubby's universal life insurance policy expires in a couple of years, thus the researching for something to possibly replace it..hubby will be having a short medical exam on Thursday at our house for a possible term insurance from this company called ING..depending on his healthiness, it'll be about $1000 each year for 20 years..if he doesn't die w/in that time, all monies are lost..

If we buy long term care insurance, if either of us die before our 80's , we lose all monies too..the average stay in a nursing home is 3-4 years from what I've been reading..if we tried to save a couple thousand dollars each year for 20 years, it still wouldn't cover the cost per month at the nursing home..(friends have spent about 5-6K a month)..I've talked to a couple who have both term and long term care, and another couple in their 70's who don't have either..they say they'll take care of each other..pretty optimistic???..what a dilemna..we don't want to be in a poorhouse for spending the premiums, or not being able to live alone w/out any financial support either..
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:24 PM   #4
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lots of reasons NOT to buy life insurance...

only a few good reasons 2 do so.

for example, during the 'income generating' years,

life insurance provides some measure of income/revenue protection to the surviving family members.

after retirement OR in the passive income years (pension, investment, ss) l.i. doesn't do much.

and it's a poor investment tool.

long term care insurance (ltci) is a different issue and may be useful for more folks.

just as disability insurance is a wise choice during the 'income years'.

the best rates/premiums on ltci are balanced against how many years paid in...

but generally the 50s are the best time to purchase ltci policy.

this is a growing industry and there are lots of policy options (good or bad) and insurers that may not survive.

there are entire forums and online venues dedicated to these issues...

some of which are covered well at andy's other site on early retirement.

http://www.early-retirement.org/

wills, advance directives and beneficiary statements for retirement accounts is VERY important too...

cheers
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:41 PM   #5
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We are caring for my wife's mother - she'll be 97 this year and from all indications will live for several more years. She takes nothing stronger than aspirin and is never sick. We have placed her in a nursing home - we had to. If you choose to leave a parent in their own home, there is the risk of falling and doing serious damage. Nursing care will report that you have abandoned your parent if you leave him or her on their own. We had to place her in a nursing home and it costs nearly $5,000 per month. Yes, it is difficult at times but there are no options. Her pension (husbands) and her social security pay for some of it and her two children (my wife and her brother) split the difference monthly. She has some investments but they are being eaten away by her nursing home care and medical bills.

My wife and I looked into Long Term Care for ourselves but once we discovered that the monthly fee would continue for the rest of our lives, we decided against it. Either it pays you monthly for being in a nursing home or you keep paying it - not a good outlook! We decided to self insure - take the chance that we could afford what we needed when we needed it and keep putting $$ aside to pay for it. My wife's father died at 92, her grandmother at 96 and her mother is presently 97 so there are some very long living genes in her family. We keep that in mind when we put $$ away for late in life bills. The choices are not many and the options very slim - good luck as you try to decide what to do. We can all hope the American medical profession will come around to providing for all before we expire. Something will have to happen some day as the current situation is not a pretty one. What will all the baby boomers do when they reach beyond retirement age???
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:09 PM   #6
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Yeah, Pauls, that is a tough decision to which way to go. We did much research because it is not for us...it's for our 2 kids. My mom died at 91. Up to a few months before her death she was on her own in a retirement facility. However, when she became ill her small savings ran out and all she had was her social security. We had to place her in a nursing home. Both Lynn and I were working and we still had our high school son at home. No way could we keep mom in our home. Then (1992) her SS was $600 a month. She begged me to come live with us but she required full time assistance in her final months. It was heart breaking. We had her in a good facility but if you have ever visited a nursing home you will immediately be repulsed.
Anyway, Lynn and I decided we do not want that decision to be our kids. The best time to sign up for long term nursing care is before 65 years of age. The premiums JUMP after that enrollment time. I am locked in for 10 years at $2700 a year. Life insurance is good when you have a family at home but a waste of money in your later years. I will turn 70 in 3 weeks and in reasonably good health in spite of the 3 major surgeries recently for arthritis (new hips and neck BABY!) complications. Lynn just turned 60 (okey, I robbed a craddle 39 years ago) but 2 years ago she suffered a stroke and has been declared permantley disabled. She receives SS benefits now. But getting long term care insurance for her will be pricey. So we will live each day as best we can and of course Airstreaming makes those days worry-less. Is that a word?
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:36 PM   #7
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So, Neil, all we need to do is get in our Airstream and hit the road, and all will be well, AKA worry-less??? I like that way of thinking! Just kidding. Thanks to the replies above. They mostly corroborate what we think, but I worry more than Max. At least I yammer more about it! ~G
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:14 PM   #8
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Who can provide information on the Airstream-owned campground that is presently set up for long term care? I've read about it - but I don't remember the details. I've often thought that it was a great idea. You could enjoy being around Airstreams and Airstreamers, while being privy to a certain degree of long-term care, meals, etc. while living in your own Airstream. I'd much rather buy in to a "condominium" campground of this type rather than enrich an insurance company that could care less. If this thing grew large enough we could have our own full-time emergency medical care staff, dedicated ambulances, relief for a spouse caring for a partner, etc. Travellers Rest, in central Florida, has a lot of those amenities - but they're not a dedicated long-term care facility. This might be the ultimate long-term use for our Airstreams. I know that this isn't a pleasant thought for the younger Airforum members - but I'd like to think that it is a far more pleasant possibility to consider than life in a nursing home - and one that all of us may have to give thought to eventually!
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:10 PM   #9
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Interesting topic. I can't speak much about what type of insurance to get or what company provides the best, but I can speak to long term care issues because of my professional work. I work with the state in long term care regulatory - we survey/regulate nursing homes, assisted living, home health, hospice, PAS (personal assistance services), etc. Yup, a regulator.

There's actually quite a bit of resources out there for folks other than nursing homes which medicare/medicaid will pay for. In terms of having responsibility for elderly parents, home health can be very helpful. Assisted living often times can "partner" with various home health agencies to provide good care and help someone stay in the home.

An important note here is that federal rules say that the consumer always has a choice in the home health agency that serves them. What this means is that an assisted living facility cannot require you to use "their" home health agency.

Whenever you begin to look into home health, nursing home or assisted living, make sure and check with your state agency responsible for oversight (ask your health and human services agency "who surveys/regulates home health, nursing homes, assisted living" etc. etc.). The feds (CMS - Center for Medicare-Medicaid Services) also post the most recent survey's of various facilities by state, so you can look to see how well they have done. Accrediting organizations such as CHAPS, ACHC or JCAHO also post some results, but remember, facilities pay them for their accreditation...

Taking care of our parents (& ourselves) is becoming more of a pressing issue and one fraught with all kinds of mysteries. Thank god for the internet and open records! There are alot of resources out there - start with your state gov't first, which at times can be rather daunting. Just be persistent.

That's my 2 cents.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:20 PM   #10
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Thank you all for the ongoing discussion here..gathering as much info and options for our decision-making processes..as with anything in life, there are always different ways to go and different needs, wants, and choices to make.
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