Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Typos and nursing homes

I work in a large and successful insurance agency. I am in the commercial department, the one non-paperless department in the agency (we are paper-full for excellent and prudent reasons). I am also starting a new department in partnership with a workmate, selling Long-Term Care Insurance. Furthermore, when difficult topics come up, I am the unofficial "official" letter-writer. Even if I were not, the amount of correspondence that I send out would be voluminous.

I tend to sign informal correspondence and formal letters to people who know me well with: "Best, Linda." But I am prone to typos on the "best" and they often make me laugh. Sometimes they're apposite, sometimes just stupid. The weird thing is that they are almost always words.


And that's why I have to watch myself when I'm closing a letter.

What, you expected something profound?

Regarding Long-Term Care Insurance, I feel strongly, personally, about this coverage. Despite my mother and brother being well-to-do, my grandmother spent the last months of her life in a (dreadful) nursing facility in penury. Why? Because it is MORE EXPENSIVE THAN WE THINK. Facilities in California cost approximately $250/day. Let's say you're prepared to pay $50/day. That means the portion you are not prepared to pay is $73,000 per year. If inflation pertains (and it almost certainly will -- let's say 5%), in 10 years that $73,000 becomes almost $120,000. Per year. The average stay in long-term care is 3 years. If you keep adding in inflation that would be approximately $378,000 total.

It's one thing if the state is footing the bill (you will end up in a state-approved facility, which will suck, and you will lose all of your assets and savings to get there). It's quite another if you can preserve your savings, your legacy, and your freedom as to where and how you would like to receive care. Your home with caretaker services such as a housekeeper and meals-on-wheels? If needed, your home with nursing care? An adult day-care with evening care by family members? A posh assisted-living facility? Or heck, if you always had a Gitmo fetish, why not a state nursing facility?

Yes, it's expensive, and if you don't have assets, it might not be for you... but this is one of those things that can be worth it, directly measured in quality of life for you and the people you love.

Lecture over. But as you can see, I do feel quite passionate about offering this coverage.

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