Cantissimo Senior Living Blog

Cantissimo Senior Living blog - an educational resource for older adults in lifestyle, wellness, and more.

Posts by Pete Keers:

Life Insurance and Annuities: Alternatives to Pay for Long-Term Care

Life Insurance and Annuities: Alternatives to Pay for Long-Term Care

Among the many ways of paying for long-term care, life insurance and annuities have been growing in popularity.

Life Insurance

In its original form, life insurance was intended only to pay beneficiaries upon the death of the insured. Since its inception, however, life insurance has evolved to include many additional options. Some of these options can help pay for long-term care.

The Safety Net – Paying for Long-Term Care with Medicaid

The Safety Net – Paying for Long-Term Care with Medicaid

Planning for long-term care expenses seems to involve a lot of wishful thinking for many. In a survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, only about a third said they were confident they would be able to pay long-term care expenses. Despite this, 54% of respondents said they had done little or no planning for these needs.

One example of wishful thinking is that government programs like Medicare or Medicaid will pay long-term care expenses.

How Your Home Can Help Pay for Long-Term Care

How Your Home Can Help Pay for Long-Term Care

The majority (76%) of those over 50 say they would prefer to continue living in their own home as long as they can. However, this is not always possible, and other senior living options like assisted living may need to be considered. Yet, such long-term care options can be costly. For instance, one year of assisted living can cost over $50,000 per year. If memory care or skilled nursing is required, the annual cost can be up to twice as much.

Unless one has long-term care insurance or can qualify for Medicaid, most people will need to tap all their assets, including equity in one's home, to pay for long-term care.

There are four ways to leverage home equity to finance long term care:

Using a Health Savings Account to Pay for Long-Term Care

Using a Health Savings Account to Pay for Long-Term Care

Most of us have heard of a Health Savings Account (HSA), but many don't understand the important details about these accounts.

HSAs were intended to provide a way for Americans to save money for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses before meeting the deductible of a high deductible health plan (HDHP). In fact, an individual or family must have an HDHP to open an HSA.

While HSAs were primarily intended to soften the financial burden of paying for healthcare expenses for HDHP account holders of all age groups, HSAs can be particularly advantageous in paying for long-term care expenses at age 65 or over.

Risking the Nest Egg: Using Retirement Savings for Long-Term Care

Risking the Nest Egg: Using Retirement Savings for Long-Term Care

As noted in a previous Cantissimo Senor Living blog post, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimated that 70% of those now turning 65 will eventually need some level of long-term care.

Yet, few people include a long-term care component in their retirement planning. It seems like more plan for their children's college education than for the very costly and highly probable reality of long-term care. Assumptions that typically drive this lack of planning are:

Not Your Typical Pre-Retirement Checklist [Video]

Not Your Typical Pre-Retirement Checklist [Video]

 

Retirement checklists abound across the internet. Most provide wisdom on planning for a secure financial future. Saving enough, choosing appropriate investments, and eliminating debt are common recommendations. However, there is more to retirement than pure pocketbook considerations. Listed below are some retirement planning ideas that most checklists don't mention.

Your Long-Term Care Insurance Roadmap

Your Long-Term Care Insurance Roadmap

When it comes to preparing for retirement, most consumers have only a vague idea about planning for potential long-term care expenses. Yet, as noted in another Cantissimo Senior Living blog post, well over half of Americans 65 or older will eventually require some form of long-term care.

Depending on the level of care needed, annual costs can range from around $19,000 for adult day care to over $100,000 per year for a private room in a skilled nursing facility. Medicare will pay for limited transitional care after a hospital stay, and older adults who meet specific low-income requirements can qualify for Medicaid. However, for most people, some or all these costs will be paid for from sources like retirement savings, a reverse mortgage, or selling a primary residence. Another option is long-term care insurance (LTCI).

Three Options for Short-Stay Assisted Living

Three Options for Short-Stay Assisted Living

A common perception of senior living is that it is an irreversible step in one's life journey. However, many don't realize there are short-stay options available for various situations, including assisted living.

Assisted living is for people who need some help with daily activities but are otherwise independent. Housing is typically home-like, apartment-style units with private bathrooms and some kitchen amenities. Dining is generally communal, and social activities are available for residents.

Great Expectations: Retirement and Committed Relationships

Great Expectations: Retirement and Committed Relationships

 

I'll never forget the look on my wife's face.

I had just returned from a September business trip to headquarters, where I told my boss I was retiring. Over the prior twelve months, my wife and I talked about the best time for me to retire after a 40 year career.

In my mind, the conversation had gone from "maybe" to "for sure" and from "later" to "sooner." Yet, when I casually said, "Well, I pulled the trigger. I'm officially done on December 31!" my wife was stunned. "What?! Are you kidding?" she sputtered. "I had no idea you were going to do it now!".

It was a classic example of a couple with differing retirement expectations. Unless properly addressed, such differences can make a retirement dream into a nightmare.

Caloric Balance: Some Practical Ideas for Weight Loss

Caloric Balance: Some Practical Ideas for Weight Loss

Obesity in the U.S. is an increasingly prevalent problem. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicated 42.4% of the population were considered obese during 2017-2018. This compares to 30.5% in 1999-2000. As a result, Americans are increasingly obsessed with finding ways to shed pounds.

My own battle of the bulge started early. Our family moved from Texas to Minnesota in February when I was 8. Before then, my siblings and I were active outside much of the year. However, upon moving to Minnesota in the depths of winter, we huddled around the TV eating Oreos.

My first realization of being overweight was when my clothing size began to include the word "husky," and one of my school friends nicknamed me "Tubby." It was the start of a lifetime weight control journey.

Over the years, I tried several diet plans. I was an early adherent of the low-carbohydrate Atkins diet. I remember feeling it was a bit leary about testing my urine to see if I was in the fat-burning ketosis state. I also tried fasting and grapefruit-centered diet, among others. Alas, my experience was typical. Any weight that came off eventually came back on.

In my 20's, I joined the running craze and eventually completed five marathons over the next two decades. Yet, despite the higher exercise level, I was still weighing in 20 to 30 pounds over the "ideal" weight for my age and height.

However, through trial and error over the years, I discovered some helpful techniques and ideas that have helped me lose and maintain a good weight. While I'm not perfect at following these guidelines, I've been reasonably successful in keeping the pounds off when I stick to them.