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L ong-term care insurance could help you live more comfortably if an illness, accident or old age makes it difficult to take care of your- self. Still, many Americans put off buying it. It helps to start planning in your 40s or 50s. Here, JJ Montanaro, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with USAA, responds to four common excuses: "I'm never going into a nursing home." "is isn't necessarily about what you do or don't want to do; it's about what statistics say is likely to happen," Montanaro says. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), at least 70 percent of people over age 65 will require long- term care services. "My spouse and kids will take care of me." A long-term care need is typically the result of cognitive impairment or the inability to perform two or three of the six activities of daily living, including bathing, control of bodily functions, dressing, eating, getting on and off the toilet, and "transferring" — walking or being able to move oneself between bed and wheelchair. "ink about this list," Montanaro says. "Are any of these activities something you want a family member to have to help you with? And even if you're okay with it, are you sure your family is comfortable and capable?" "I can't afford it." "It doesn't have to be an all-or-none proposition," Montanaro says. "You can probably design a policy that provides at least some level of coverage and still fits your budget." e price depends on your needs, location and type of care. One way to make long- term care more affordable: Adjust the benefits of the policy. Decreasing the benefit period, the daily benefit amount or the level of cost-of-living adjustments, and increasing the elimination period — the initial time when you're responsible for all costs — can help reduce the financial burden. "I have health insurance, TRICARE® or Medicare." "…[M]ost health insurance plans don't provide long- term care benefits," Montanaro says. Don't base your long-term care plan on Medicaid, as the state-admin- istered program is designed as a safety net for individuals with significant financial need. According to the DHHS, Medicaid applicants in most states are disqual- ified if they have "countable" assets of more than $2,000 ($3,000 if they're married). To encourage residents to plan, most states now offer partnership programs. ey provide Medicaid's long-term care benefits to people who haven't spent all their assets, provided they had purchased and then exhausted the benefits of a qualifying long-term care policy. JJ Montanaro, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with USAA. Article reprinted with permission. Go to for more information. 18 Navy | Summer 2017 USAA FINANCIAL ADVICE 4 Bad Excuses for Skipping Long-Term Care Coverage N o M o r c u s s !

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