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AUTHOR: Joe D'Alessandro on 6/22/2024

I am 60 and my wife is 61, both in good health.  Like most everyone, we want to stay in our home as long as possible.  Long term care (LTC) is expensive and restrictive.  However, there’s an option local to us in Lancaster PA from a very reputable and long-standing Continuous Care Retirement Community.  They have a program called SmartLife (SmartLife VIA Willow Valley – Central PA’s True Life Plan at Home Program (smartlifewv.org)) where you pay a one-time up-front fee and then a monthly charge, all based on age when first enrolled, and then you access in-home care when / if needed all the way up to full time care in the facilities, if needed, until death.  The in-home care is robust, as with their facility care.  Of course, this is LTC insurance.  I got a quote that for my wife and I, the upfront fee would be $90,000 and monthly fee $1,500 per month, forever.  The upfront fee is one time (and non-refundable), and the monthly fee has only gone up each year between 2 to 3%.  While we could afford this, I ran a calculator and if I self-funded LTC needs by pitting $1,500 into a savings account earning 4% interest, I would accrue $223k in 10 years, and $557k in 20 years (before tax).  The allure of doing this is the peace of mind of knowing care is there when you need it, and to not burden your family should care be required.  But it’s a lot of money.  Anyone have thoughts on either approach?

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