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Feb
02

Welcome from Phyllis Shelton

Thank you for stopping by my website created just for consumers who don’t have a local insurance professional to answer their questions about long-term care insurance. My commitment to you is to provide a simple explanation for whatever you ask me, and that’s why this site and my simplest book are both called The ABC’s of Long-Term Care Insurance. The subject of planning for long-term care has gotten way too complicated, and I’m here to help you sort through any confusion.

If you found me through my dear friend, Suze Orman, then we  share a connection already of knowing a truly great person with a huge heart who lives to help families go from just surviving the current economy into embracing The New Retirement.  I’m thrilled to participate in that journey with Suze to help you and your family know just how important the step of planning for long-term care is. And let me be very upfront about where I am on this topic.

Planning for long-term care is not just a good idea – it’s essential for most Americans so that families can retain INDEPENDENCE and CHOICE when care is needed.

Is long-term care insurance right for everyone? No, but you owe it to yourself and your family to find out if it’s right for you. And now you have a willing navigator…ME. If you REALLY want to know more, order a copy of my new book Protecting Your Family with Long-Term Care Insurance today!

P.S. If you are here because you saw my letter about helping people protect their retirement savings from a down market while finding a way to pay for long-term care regardless of what kind of health you are in today, you are also in the right place. Or, if you didn’t receive my letter but this thought appeals to you, send me a comment so I can get back to you on how to do that.

25 comments

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  1. Frankie says:

    My question is about the benefits of having LTC Insurance for couples who do not have kids and there is no other family to ‘protect’. Is LTC Insurance still a good option in this situation? Also do all facilities take LTC Insurance from any carrier?

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      The benefits of having LTC insurance are even greater for couples without kids or family to act as caregivers, Frankie. That means you will need paid caregivers as you can’t take care of each other 24/7. With LTC insurance, you can stay home as long as possible, or you may prefer an assisted living facility. An ALF means no house and yard maintenance and you no longer have to cook for yourselves. Both of you can move into a unit when only one needs care and the insurance will pay. In a nutshell, what I’m trying to explain is that LTC insurance gives you private pay choices and makes a nursing home the last resort. Then if you need nursing home care, you get to pick the one you want vs. having the state tell you where to go. Yes, the facilities love long-term care insurance as that puts private-pay dollars in their pockets fast!

  2. Richard White says:

    I have a CNA LTC policy purchased in Ohio 1998. I am no longer a resident of Ohio having moved to Nevada in 2001. Is my policy enforceable in Nevada or do I face a challenge from CNA

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Your policy will work fine in Nevada, Richard, or any other state.

  3. Nora D. says:

    I got your name from a Susie Orman article saying you are her go-to expert on LTC issues! I am 70 years old; 10 years ago I bought LTC from Continental Casualty Company. A few years ago the company backed out of taking any more LTC policies but said they would honor the ones they have. Do I need to worry about this company honoring my policy should I need it. (I am healthy and on no meds.)

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Continental Casualty Company (CNA) was a very active participant in the long-term care insurance market when you bought your policy, Nora, and sold a lot of policies. They have been honoring and will continue to honor these policies. I’m not aware of any major problem with CNA paying claims. I just went to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners site and see that CNA’s complaint ratio is well under the national median complaint ratio. You can look as well at https://eapps.naic.org/cis/ CNA handles a lot of products so you want to search under “individual accident and health”. It sounds like you are healthy enough to add additional coverage with another carrier if you think you need more. For example, you can ask your financial professional to review your CNA policy to be sure the inflation benefit you selected is giving you the amount of coverage you need. Or, you can also add additional home care or perhaps additional facility care from a carrier that offers those benefits separately, depending on where you see yourself needing care.

  4. Pam says:

    Phyllis,
    Thank you for your service, it is greatly appreciated by so many. I would like to know if you would give me the name of a couple of ins. co. you use for LTCI. I am 59 & only take synthroid. My husband is 62 and not on any meds. We would like to look into this insurance before it is to late. Thanks, Pam

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Pam, it’s good to hear from you. You and your husband sound like excellent candidates for long-term care insurance and you are right. You should not wait any longer to look into it. If you don’t have a local professional who is knowledgeable in long-term care insurance, I will be happy to help you. I fit the insurance company to the applicant after finding out more about them. If you will please go to http://www.gotltci.com/contact-us/ and answer the questions for yourself and your husband, I’ll be back in touch with ideas. Thanks, Phyllis Shelton

  5. D Brantley says:

    I am 58 , soon to be 59 looking into LTC insurance. I’m single and have been sent a premium quote for facility, and home care from TransAmerica for less than 100$ per month w contingent nonforfiture, 3% compund inflation protection for 2 yrs. I will be able to afford this but I’m a bit skidish in the probable increases inthe cost of care over the next 20+ years. This quote started out paying a daily amount of $130. That would leave at todays’s rate ~$100 a day to pay out of pocket. I just wondering if this sounds reasonable to you or would you suggest somethign different?

    I’m in good health and take no meds at this time.

    Thanks

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      You are right in thinking the cost of care will continue to increase and in my opinion, it will increase more in the neighborhood of 5% a year, not 3%. When you consider the premium between 5% and 3% compound, you need to compare the difference you will pay in premium over the next 25-30 years vs. the difference you will pay out of your pocket at claim time. I have just posted the article “Long-Term Care Insurance: A Priceless Equation” under LTCi Benefits on this site to help people do that. I think you will find there is no comparison. In 30 years, the benefits with 3% compound are usually about half of what they would have been with 5% compound. Whatever you do, do it now while you can qualify for the preferred health discount. I see that going away with some carriers already.

  6. Mrs. Welch says:

    I found you through Suze Orman and I’m in the process of ordering your Two
    Volume Set on Long Term Care Insurance. I’ll e-mail you later, because I do
    want to purchase LTC Ins. soon. I’ll read the books so I’ll have more specific
    questions.
    Thank You!

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      so glad to hear from you Mrs. Welch. Planning for long-term care is essential for every American! We are here for you if you do not have a knowledgeable long-term care insurance professional. Just go to the Q&A tab on the site under “Contact Us” and answer those questions for us when you are ready for your personal consultation.

  7. Nel M says:

    I found your web site in Suze Ormans book. I am 61 years young and would like to know how much coverage do I really need if my income is limited. I am on a fixed income, widow and not working. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis which dosent bother me to much now, but I know in the future I will need help and I dont want to burden my two sons or their wives. I am totally debt free and own a small modest home and car.

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      so glad you contacted me – will you answer these questions please?

      Birthdate and age:

      Spouse/partner (if applicable) birthdate and age:

      Any pending surgery?

      Prescription medication:
      -name of drug
      -dosage
      -frequency
      -reason you are taking it
      -any change in how it is prescribed in the last six months?

      Do you have any other long-term care insurance coverage? If so, please have the policy benefits available if you wish to have a follow-up call to discuss coverage.

      Where do you live now and do you intend to retire there? If not, where do you think you might retire?

  8. Donna R. says:

    I would like to get LTC but so far have been unable and I’m hoping you know someone who would insure me. I have been diagnosed with benign sensory MS. Everyone as soon as they hear “MS” say I’m not qualified. This type however, is a rare type that’s almost harmless. I have the pins and needles feeling in my hands and feet, imbalance in my walk and that’s about it. It won’t get worse from here. I take no meds for it whatsoever. I do have high cholesterol and low thyroid, both of which are controlled with meds. Is there any way I can get LTC. I’m 56 and in relatively good shape except for the MS. Any help you can give me is very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Donna – I just wanted to say again that I’m sorry I couldn’t find a carrier to help you. I will mention one other idea. There is a company that will sell a plan to a healthy person and that person’s spouse or partner who is otherwise uninsurable is able to get a plan that will pay 60% of the healthy partner’s benefit while the healthy partner is on claim. This is called a contingent insured benefit. I’m doing this with some friends of mine as the wife is totally uninsurable. Let me know if you want more info on that. Thanks, Phyllis

  9. Margaret F. says:

    I’m 66, in good health, single, & planning to retire at 70. my mother is 88 &
    has mild dementia. should I consider a facility only policy because my
    retirement income will be $1500 a month? soc sec= $900 & 401K = $500.
    home is worth $400K & is paid off except for a $50,000 equity loan.
    I have $110K in 401K & will stay in it another 4 yrs.
    thank you for this website!

  10. Carolyn S. says:

    I am a 71 year old never been married female. Would like for you to give me some advice. I do have a retirement income and am saving monthly. CC debt is $15,000 but it will be paid off by next year. The house and car are paid off. No health issues right now. Do I need to consider LTC now. Thanks for your reply. C

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Carolyn, congratulations on almost being debt-free! And you’re in good health…the two together make you a truly blessed person. I’ll give you a short answer and a long answer to your question. The short answer is if you are going to consider long-term care insurance, now is certainly the time because your health could change at any time. That’s true for any age. I love to say that money pays for long-term care insurance but health buys it. Once you have a significant health problem, no amount of money can buy this insurance product. Now the long answer is wrapped around “do you need long-term care insurance?” For that, I have a list of questions for you to consider: 1) do you have dementia in your family? 2) longevity? I can tell you that 2/3 of LTCi claims are paid on women. The funny thing about long-term care is sometimes the better we take care of ourselves, the more LTC we need. Why? Because we don’t have a heart attack or massive stroke or develop cancer – we just wear out, and the healthier we are, the longer that can take!
      3) If you do need care, how do you see that happening? 24 hour home care is expensive – well over $300 a day and much higher in some parts of the country. Sometimes a really high-end assisted living facility can be a better choice and much less expensive. You are probably very independent and want the best. The cost of care has tripled in the last 20 years and no reason to think it won’t triple in the next 20 years. I don’t know what your assets are, but if you think you might live to 91 years old, care will range from $15,000-$20,000 a month in most parts of the country by then. Can you pay that comfortably out of your income and savings? Do you want to? Is there someone or something you want to leave money to? . With the new combo products, you can leverage an asset 2-3X and leave it to someone if you don’t need LTC. As you can see, many considerations, including the cost of care where you live as that influences the benefits you need. If you like a private consultation, please email pennye@GotLTCi.com to select a time, and I can customize my answer for you.

  11. Linda R. says:

    I got your name from Suze Ormans book. I am interested in possibly getting
    LTC insurance. I don’t know who to contact . We are currently in Washington DC
    but will be moving to North Carolina in the near future. We (spouses) are both
    59 years of age. Can you help us to know what we need and can afford?
    Any help would be appreciated. Thank-you for your attention to this letter.

    Sincerely,
    Linda R.

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      I’ll be glad to help you, Linda, as it sounds like you don’t have a local agent. How exciting that you are headed for North Carolina…definitely my favorite state next to Tennessee! Your premium will be less for receiving care in North Carolina than Washington DC so nothing wrong with that, right? Just gather the information listed on the “Contact us” page on this site to help me figure out what you and your husband need, and contact Pennye@GotLTCi.com to set up a time to talk with me for about 15-20 minutes. Let’s get your husband on the call too so he hears everything. Congratulations for seeking this critical information on how to plan for LTC, Linda!

  12. Lucy C. says:

    I saw the huge bills created as my mother got sick and ultimately died. Now, it absolutely terrifies me that one day I might be in that same position. I hope you can shed some light on a way to get LTC insurance if your are not financially well off. (I am single with no kids.)

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Lucy. It’s especially difficult for single women to contemplate being alone without adequate care as we age. The type of policy that could work best for you would be a facility only policy. It pays for assisted living facilities as well as full scale nursing facilities. It doesn’t pay for home care, but a single person who needs enough care to qualify to receive benefits from a long-term care insurance policy usually can’t stay home very long without needing more home care than the policy can pay. It can also be difficult to manage your medication, cook for yourself, clean your home, mow your lawn, etc. Being socially isolated can lead to depression as well.

      A facility only policy costs significantly less than a plan that pays for home care which is called a comprehensive policy. I would rather see you use your precious premium dollars to buy enough coverage to stay in a really nice assisted living facility instead of diluting them to pay for home care which you may never use. The other tremendous advantage of being able to have assisted living care is that you have a personal unit for privacy but you can mingle with others, which often prevents the depression that can occur when living alone and not being able to get all the help you need to not only take care of yourself, but your home as well.

      With further knowledge of your personal situation, I may be able to offer you some options. Please email Pennye@GotLTCi.com to set up a personal consultation with me.

  13. velma p. says:

    I just ordered your books; however I would like to know if you are a partner in a business can you pay lump sums on a policy and have this deducted.

    velma

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Congratulations on taking the step to order my books! The answer to your question is “yes, to a point”. It depends on what type of business it is. If you are an owner in a C-corporation, the most you can deduct safely without getting into a gray area with the IRS is a plan that will be paid up in 10 years (the insurance lingo is a “10-Pay”). There are other limited plans that are paid up in 20 years or by age 65. A single premium (which is almost non-existent today) could raise a red flag to the IRS.

      If you are a business owner in the self-employed group (sole proprietor, partnership, an LLC which stands for Limited Liability Corporation, or greater than 2% owner of an S-corp), you can deduct an age-based amount of premium as part of the self-employed health insurance deduction on Line 29 of IRS Form 1040. This amount generally increases each January. The table is on the inside cover of my big book, Long-Term Care: Your Financial Planning Guide, and you can real the detail of all available tax incentives for long-term care insurance on pp. 18-26 in Chapter One. The nice thing about this tax incentive is that it also applies to your spouse if you are married.

      If you have employees, 100% of their premium is deductible as a business expense, just like health insurance, and that deduction also includes spouses. So now that I’ve saved you money by showing you how part or all of your long-term care insurance premium is deductible, you can use the savings to be sure you have the best inflation benefit you can afford Pages 20-24 in The ABC’s of Long-Term Care Insurance will tell you clearly how to choose that benefit!

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