Mr. Long-Term Care's Story - Part 2
June 26, 2006
It's been six years now since I hung up my pen and walked away from Mr. Long-Term Care, and this month marks the beginning of my 11th year with Parkinson's disease.
During the years I was an active personal producing general agent, and publisher of the Internet's most widely visited site on long-term care, I thought I had a pretty good handle on the problems of long-term care and long-term care financing.
In retrospect, I knew very little about what happens to people -- ordinary people -- who are suddenly faced with the realities of needing assistance with the activities of daily living (ADL), activities such as eating, dressing and transferring from a chair to a bed.
Now I know, as I am virtually confined to my bed and a chair.
It was exactly three and one half years ago that I decided to move into an assisted living facility, hoping that would improve my general state of health and thus, my chances of survivability. I'll save any discussion of that experience for another time. For the moment, I have but one message to share with you, and that is:
Whether you are 56 years old, as I am, or 96 years old, permanent disabilities, chronic illnesses, and frail aging require tremendous amounts of money. The 400 square ft. apartment that I now call home in the assisted living facility I reside in, costs roughly $5,000 per month. If your rent or mortgage payment suddenly increased to $5,000 per month, what would you do?
I was fortunate. I decided in my early 40s to purchase long-term care insurance. It turned out to be the single most important decision of my life, for now I have an $86,000 annual lifetime benefit.
And how when I feel if I had paid my premium for 30 or 40 years without any need for benefits?
Pretty damn fortunate.