It's SmartMoney Monday, and we're continuing the topic of long-term care. If you've missed last week's segment, you can get caught up on our website. Today, I'm here with Chris Otto, from BankOh Investment Services, Inc., a non-bank subsidiary of Bank of Hawaii, talking about the benefits of long-term care insurance.
Steve: Chris, what would you say is a major benefit of long-term care?
Chris: The major reason is short but powerful—long-term care expenses can deplete your savings. Insurance can prevent this from happening, and you can significantly reduce the burden on family and friends.
Steve: I can understand how it protects your money, but how does long-term care insurance help spouses and/or children?
Chris: Long-term care insurance provides peace-of-mind for everyone in your family. When you're healthy, long-term care insurance seems easier to ignore. But just as you would prepare for retirement or ensure you have medical coverage, having long-term care insurance is an important piece of comprehensive financial planning. It's especially beneficial to your loved ones because most people prefer to leave their hard-earned assets to their children, grandchildren or favorite charity rather than spend it on long-term care.
Steve: What are some other ways long-term care insurance protects your family?
Chris: Steve, having a life-threatening illness can be devastating for families. Your attention is on spending time with that family member and making sure he or she has the best care possible. That's hard to do when your loved one doesn't have long-term care insurance to cover the expenses. In those cases, time is spent worrying about the bills. Typically, care often begins right in the home, where most people prefer to stay, and may progress to an assisted living facility or an adult day care center. So many family members feel an emotional and physical toll along with a financial burden.
Steve: So it sounds like long-term care insurance gives to flexibility to have choices in the type of care you receive. But how does it ensure you're in control of how and where you live?
Chris: When it comes to long-term care insurance, there is a wide variety of options and types of coverage. Talk to your insurer or financial advisor about what's right for you and your family.
The benefit of long-term care insurance is that you can choose where to receive care and who provides that care, and it can range from nursing homes to assisted living facilities to adult care services.
Steve: Any last-minute thoughts on the benefit of long-term care insurance?
Chris: Two quick items, Steve:
• Ask yourself, what type of quality of life do you want? That will help guide you as you make more specific decisions about long-term care insurance.
• Also, don't wait too long; premiums increase substantially as you age. And buy insurance while you're still healthy; if you develop certain medical conditions, you may be denied benefits due to pre-existing condition exclusions, or you might not be able to buy insurance at all.
The steps you take now will significantly impact how well you will live in your final years, so the time you spend now planning is well spent.
Steve: Thanks, Chris. Next week, we'll be sharing tips on the types of long-term care insurance. For Chris, I'm Steve Uyehara. Thanks for watching.