The costs associated with nursing facilities and skilled care can be addressed in more that one way. Life insurance with living benefits, annuities (providing lifetime income partnered with need-based benefit multipliers) and traditional Long Term Care Insurance can all be utilized to plan against future uncertainty. More targeted, short term solutions such as a Critical Illness or Cancer Plans are increasing in popularity as tools protect assets against potential illnesses.
It’s impossible to predict the specific needs of an aging individual- expenses for a visiting or live-in caregiver, companion, housekeeper, physical therapist, or a private-duty nurse up to seven days a week, 24 hours per day. And when staying home is no longer an option, private skilled nursing facility costs can exceed $80,000 a year. If that’s unaffordable, many states will require a forced Medicaid Spend Down before contributing to nursing home costs, reducing an individual’s assets (beyond a home and a few other essentials) to $2,000.
While traditional LTC is costly, there can be some real advantages to going that route. Premiums paid on a long-term care insurance product are usually tax-deductible, with the amount of the deduction depending on the age of the insured. If employer-sponsored, business deductions of premiums are determined by the type of business. Usually, companies that pay LTC premiums for an employee are 100% tax-deductible, if not included as part of an employee’s income. When benefits are utilized, benefits paid from a long-term care contract are generally excluded from taxable income.
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