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Checking in on New Year’s Resolutions (and a Bit on Gift Cards)

Here’s something that’s a bit crazy to think about— we’re a quarter of the way through 2019 already! Which makes it a great time to check in on those New Year’s resolutions we made way back when and see which we kept and which we might want to start working on again.

Yes, most of us probably said we want to get into better shape, which is why to exercise more or lose weight were the top resolutions for 38% of us. However, I’d like to talk about a resolution that might not have been on your original list. And that’s, “I resolve to implement a plan to finance my future long term care.”

If this wasn’t on your New Years resolution list, that’s okay! It’s never too late to start. Just think of it as a bit of financial spring cleaning instead!

Yes, with all of our bills and competing priorities for our hard-earned money, it may be difficult to think about redirecting money into long term care insurance. But that’s actually one of the best arguments for taking the plunge, making good on your resolution (or spring cleaning), and finally doing it.  

After all, if you think it’s difficult to prioritize funding a plan today, imagine how difficult it will be to easily come up with the much higher amount of cash needed when you are no longer working and suddenly facing care costs. Care can cost upwards of $100,000 a year and sometimes even more!

A great analogy for this is gift cards. That’s right, the perfect go-to present when you don’t know exactly what to get someone.

It occurred to me that a long term care insurance policy could almost be described as a type of “gift card” for long term care. For example, traditional long term care coverage locks in a disproportionately large benefit with a modest initial premium payment. So, buying a long term care policy is more like buying a $100 gift card, redeemable exactly when care is needed, for a few bucks. (The numbers ultimately depend on your age and how big a benefit you’re buying.)

There are other similarities too. At claim time, money in a long term care insurance policy can only be used for long term care*, not, for example, on gifts for the grandkids or new kitchen cabinets. This restriction is a bit like a gift card in that you can’t use a gift card from one establishment at a different business down the road.

Another similarity between gift cards and traditional long term care policies is the ability to choose how to spend the money. When you walk into a store with a gift card, you are secure knowing you can buy something up to the gift card’s limit without having to spend your own money. Long term care insurance policyholders have that same luxury. When faced with the need for care, they can choose among their policy’s covered services to make their own determination of what services they want to buy using the insurance company’s money up to the policy’s limit.

Back to resolutions. Am I insinuating that by this time next year you should implement a plan to finance your future long term care? Why yes, in fact, I am.

The truth is because most of us will need long term care at some point, the year we need it may be this year for any of us. The year we actually need long term care. Think of how grateful we will be to our younger selves that we didn’t put off for another year the decision to purchase long term care insurance!

And with a quarter of the year gone already, there’s no better time to look back on our New Year’s resolutions and make sure we are on track for the rest of the year— financial resolutions and all.

Feel free to contact Baygroup Insurance at http://www.baygroupinsurance.com/forms/contact-us or call us at 410-557-7907 for help with all your LTC needs.

*A very small percentage of policies are cash benefit policies – paying cash benefit to be used at the insured’s discretion.