Even financial celebrity Suze Orman slips up once in a while. In an interview with CNN, Suze Orman reveals a million dollar mistake: not buying her mom Long Term Care insurance. Suze explains that after her father died, she made her first attempt to buy her mom a LTCI policy, but her mom was only 66 at the time and assured Suze that she would “never need it.”
Suze tried to explain to her mom that she could live well into her 90s and a LTCI policy could save them a lot of money down the road, but despite her best efforts, she failed. “Seven times I filled out that paperwork for her. Seven times I sent it to her for her to sign it. Every time she said, I’m never going to get old, I’m never going to need it and refused,” Suze recalls.
Suze’s mom ended up living 31 years after her husband’s passing. For the last seven years of her life, she lived in an independent living facility with full-time care, costing Suze $25,000 a month. YIKES!! Suze says that if her mother had simply signed that paperwork it would have saved her over a million dollars.
For more on LTCI, we went to our DivaCFO Long Term Care Expert, Nancy Simm. Here’s what she had to say:
Considering the effect of a Long Term Care need is particularly important for women because we are likely to live longer than men and therefore be more likely to need care ourselves, and we are likely to be the primary caregiver for someone else.
People of all ages can need LTC services – whether elderly or not…due to chronic illness, accident, or cognitive impairment.
A few considerations:
- Social norms still dictate that caregiving is primarily a woman’s job. Statistically, about ¾’s of family caregivers are women (whether wives, daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts)…and are the primary “hands on” care providers even if others help out (i.e., assisting with bathing, feeding, toileting).
- Consequences of caregiving can be increased stress and depression or anxiety, reduced work hours, dipping into personal savings, contributing less to personal retirement accounts.
- Because women have longer life expectancies, we are more likely to be single as we age….nearly half of all women age 75 or older live alone. Almost 2/3’s of all home care recipients are women, and over 70% of nursing home residents are women.
- Women account for 2/3’s of the people in the U.S. with Alzheimer’s …and account for 60% of the unpaid caregivers for people with the disease as well.
Planning ahead will help you make well thought out decisions instead of trying to sort it all out during a crisis situation. Planning provides greater control and greater feelings of security about the future. Be prepared, not scared, Divas!