2 Million 90 Year Olds! Do You Have a Plan?

by Karl on December 15, 2011[printfriendly]

2 Million 90 Year Olds! Do You Have A Plan?
by Karl Kim, CFP®, CLTC

The good news is that we are living longer.

The bad news is that we are living longer.

Recently released U.S. Census data shows almost 2 million Americans are age 90 and older. That’s triple what it was 30 years ago.

It also showed that the number of men over age 90 has increased almost 50% just from the year 2000.

Better diet, better medicine, and better health care are the main reasons for the good news.

There are over 9 million Americans age 80-89, a 30% jump since 2000. In the age 70-79 bracket there are 16.5 million Americans.

But this good news is tempered by the fact that 1 in 2 people age 85 and older have Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 5.4 million Americans with the disease.

14.9 million family members and friends provided 17 billion hours of unpaid care. This is an estimated $202.6 billion!

Living longer is great, but along with it comes more chronic illnesses and disabilities like diabetes, falling, arthritis, stroke, Parkinson’s, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

My friends, the “Age Wave” has become a tidal wave…..and we have to be prepared for it. It isn’t that hard, but it can be if you wait too long.

According to Genworth’s “2011 Financial Reality Check Study” 70% of people would not know what to do if a family member needed immediate long term care assistance.

This same study also found that 75% have never had a conversation about long term care with their loved one. But of those that had, a financial planner was the least likely to have been consulted.
Maybe it is because most people think of financial planners as investment and insurance brokers.
Not true!

A staggering 61% of people surveyed believe that they will never need long term care help. The reality is that 6 out of 10 people are 65 or older and will require long term care at least once in their life time.

The census also found in the 90+ age bracket:

  • Women outnumbered men 3 to 1
  • 2.2% were Asian, 4% Hispanic, 7.6% black and 88.1% white
  • 37.3% lived alone, 37.1% lived with family or others, 23% in nursing homes and 3% in assisted living or similar
  • They had a median income of $14,760, about half from Social Security, 14.5% lived in poverty

No one ever likes to think of themselves or a loved one as needing help or going to a nursing home. Sadly, in the face of rapidly rising life expectancies, not having a plan in place can be financially devastating, emotionally draining and physically burdensome.

Unfortunately, whether it is an attorney, CPA, financial planner, stock broker, insurance agent, social worker or any other professional, not enough emphasis has been placed on the education of professionals in the issues and topics involved in long term care planning.

In our experience, a professional is just as likely to spread inaccurate and incorrect information as a regular person. But it is much more dangerous because the average person assumes the professional knows what they are talking about.

Long term care planning is truly a specialty onto itself. The financial planning professional needs to be knowledgeable of Medicare, Medi-Cal, gerontology, investments, taxes, insurance and estate planning.

They need to know how all of the areas interact together. They need to know what applies in California only and what is national.

This is what makes our office so unique among all financial and legal professionals. Because we have been submitting long term care Medi-Cal applications for over 20 years, we are extremely knowledgeable in all of these areas.

Whether it is our office or another firm, if you are looking for help with long term care planning, make sure that they actually submit Medi-Cal applications. If they don’t, keep looking.   
Karl Kim, CFP, CLTC is the President of Retirement Planning Advisors, Inc. and is a Medi-Cal specialist. His office is located in La Mirada, CA and can be reached at 714-994-0599 or at www.KarlKimCo.com. He has submitted over 1000 applications with a 99.9% success rate over the past twenty years with a 99.9% success rate. This is meant to be an educational article. Do not make any decisions solely on the information contained herein. Consult your tax advisor, financial planner and attorney before taking any action. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies or misinformation. 

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