What is long term care insurance?

Clients have asked me about long term insurance.  I reached out to our friends at Sunlife to provide us a little insight.  Jay Lafave, a Sunlife Financial Security Advisor, was kind enough to provide the following information.

Long term care services address the health, social and personal care needs of individuals who have lost the ability to care for themselves. While a certain degree of public support is available, government programs are not comprehensive and long term care services can be costly.

The level of health care and personal assistance we need, and the cost to meet these needs, will increase with age with the average Canadian experiencing 9 to 14 of the final years of their life in diminished health.*

At birth...

·    the average life expectancy of a Canadian male is 78 years. Over nine of those years are expected to be with a diminished quality of life.

·    the average life expectancy of a Canadian female is 83 years. Just over 14 of those are expected to be with a diminished quality of life.*

* Source: Statistics Canada, 2012

Long term care insurance helps to pay for care services that other plans don't provide, bridging the gap between what is provided and the extra care or services your client might want to access. Long term care insurance helps to cover the costs of care, meaning:

·    Clients have more choices around the kind of care and amount of care they'll receive.

·    Clients' savings and investments can be preserved.

As you build and review retirement income plans for clients, it's important to help them recognize and consider their future health care needs and the impact their choices and expectations will have on their plans. Long term care insurance can help with financial protection for their plans and the means to pay for the level of care they want and expect.

Sun Long Term Care Insurance provides your clients with:

·    Freedom, to enjoy their money now and in retirement because they're prepared. Having a plan that helps protect their savings means living retirement to its fullest.

·    Choice, from a product that can be tailored to their needs and which provided features and options that will allow for more choice when needed in their retirement years.

·     Flexibility, from a benefit that can be used to pay for the type of care that's right for their needs and their situation - whether it's purchasing private home care or compensating a child who provides assistance.

Thank you Jay and the Sunlife team for this quick overview.  I’m sure our readers will benefit from this information should they be considering this valuable insurance option.

Matt Del Vecchio is a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA).  He is the founder and president of Lianas - a company specializing in retirement residence search and senior transition support.

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