Long-term care insurance after divorce

The paperwork is filed. You’re divorced. Now starts the process of changing your life, which begins with ending the details that once defined your marriage. The usual suspects are tackled first — changing bank accounts, getting new credit cards and updating insurance documents.

However, one detail remains completely untouched, not thought of — maybe on purpose or simply overlooked. What happens if you need care while recovering from an accident or an illness?

While married, we assume that our partner would be there for us. From helping us in the event that something as simple as a broken arm or as complicated as Alzheimer’s affected us. A divorce removes this built-in aid from your life. Now, you need to seriously question as to who can replace this care.

Long-term care is never even given a thought by the vast majority of divorced individuals. A divorce is traumatic enough, why would you want to think of something worse? However, the facts don’t lie. According to a Genworth 2013 study, it’s estimated that approximately 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will require some form of long-term care. And with baby boomers divorcing at a quicker rate and living longer, long-term care cannot be ignored.

It is difficult to think of asking your children to care for you. This is especially true in this society where we all have to work and in many cases where children have moved far away. Not to mention the unfairness of burdening anyone with the outrageous cost of care.

The same Genworth study estimates that the average cost of care in a nursing home can be as much as $90,000 per year. The average cost of care in assisted living facilities is $40,000 annually. And if you have the privilege of being cared for in your home, the hourly rate is $20 for unskilled care.

“The greatest advantage of a long-term care policy is that it continues to give the insured a degree of autonomy and allows them to maintain control of their care,” says Debbie Lazaga of Worldwide Assurance. “It also lifts the fear of becoming a burden to children or family or friends and allows them to continue to live independent lives, completely able to make choices and pay for that care.”

Like a will and a trust, long-term care insurance almost always a must post-divorce. But you’re thinking to yourself “expensive”, right?

These policies are not nearly as expensive as you might think. Of course, as with any health insurance policy, the younger and healthier at the time of purchase, the more affordable it is. The key to long-term care insurance is flexibility and the help of a licensed, certified long-term care agent in creating a policy that works best for an individual’s needs.

Carlos Blanco founded The Big Kaboom <www.thebigkaboom.com>, which combines people, technology and social elements to support clients throughout the divorce process. Contact Blanco at 305-908-1171 or by email at cblanco@thebigkaboom.com.

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