Women are typically the caregivers of the family. We care for our own children and household, and maybe our parents and their household … Our own care typically comes last. It’s only natural then that women don’t think about long-term care (LTC) planning as much as we should. Because we can’t even fathom the idea of needing care for ourselves.
But we MUST plan for the unthinkable because LTC is far more important for women than it is for men. Here are three reasons why:
Women live longer than men and have higher rates of disability and chronic health problems. According to the American Association for LTC Insurance (AALTCI), roughly two-thirds of LTC insurance claims paid in 2011 were for women needing care.
Even if a woman can’t contemplate her own care, she might consider the need for her spouse. Ask her: “Can you imagine lifting your husband if he can’t lift himself? Do you think you’ll still be able to do that 10-20 years from now?” If the answer is no, then she needs to consider a plan for both of them.
The AALTCI reports approximately 75 percent of those providing home care are female, most often a daughter who spends 20 hours a week providing care to her mother. Do they want to give their daughters that burden?
I witnessed the need firsthand when my own mom fell and broke her hip. I’m one of four children, and let me tell you, it was all hands on deck for a good two months.
Someone needed to be with my mom when my dad was out of the house. We needed to shop, cook and clean for her. We took turns, but it was very hard taking care of two households, even though I was on rotation with three siblings. That whole time I thought, “Do I try to have more kids now or make a plan so my only child isn’t on her own in this?” I can’t imagine putting her through that alone.
As a financial professional, you should be talking with ALL of your clients about LTC planning. But clearly, the conversation is far more important for women. Make sure you’re pointing out the risks their taking – for themselves and their loved ones – if they don’t have a plan.
American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance – Important Information for Women: http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/learning-center/for-women.php
Teresa Curreri is a senior LTC consultant partnering with agents to protect their clients and family from the uncertainty of tomorrow. She’s is a licensed life and health producer, and she’s been focusing on LTC for 15 years.
© 2018 Ash Brokerage LLC.