If you have a family member or friend who is or has suffered from Alzheimer’s, you know exactly how distressing the onset of this disease is. One day an individual seems the same as always. And then without warning they start to have trouble remembering their daily schedule, or what they had for breakfast. Confusion, poor judgement, long term memory loss, and the loss of the ability to communicate effectively follow, slowly wiping away the vibrant personality that had been present before.
For many Americans, the onset of Alzheimer’s (the most common cause of dementia in humans) and many other debilitating conditions also associated with aging herald the end of an individual’s ability to live independently. Professional services, in-home help, or the intervention and assistance of children or other relatives may be needed. Yet the financial costs of this help are often distressingly insurmountable.
In order to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, support future research, and educate Americans to plan ahead the financial services firm Edward Jones recently partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association, committing $4.7 million to support the organization and also launching a study focused on how Americans feel about healthcare expenses in retirement. The study polled a nationally representative sample of 1012 respondents from July 7 – 10, 2016, including both retired and non-retired Americans, and revealed a strong variation in the level of concern between distinct age groups1.
This level of concern scales steadily with age. Baby Boomers, the most recent generation to enter retirement age, were the most worried about covering the cost of healthcare, with 69 percent of those polled indicating that they are concerned, and 41 percent suggesting that they are “very” concerned. In contrast, only 19 percent of millennials were “very” concerned1.
The same study also suggests that this increase is a result of increasing age and the familiarity of different age groups with individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. While one in three millennials (33 percent) knew someone who has been affected by the disease, over half (51 percent) of Baby Boomers did1.
According to Beth Kallmyer, vice president of constituent services at the Alzheimer’s Association, “The cost of Alzheimer’s disease is staggering, not only from a human standpoint, but from a financial one as well… According to 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report, out-of-pocket spending for health care for people with dementia, including Alzheimer’s, is more than three times the out-of-pocket expenses for people of the same age without dementia.1”
These are expenses Americans, many of whom struggle to plan for retirement at all, are ill prepared to face—but there are ways to challenge this trend. One involves adding a long term care rider* to a family’s standard life insurance policy. This includes riders attached to permanent life insurance policies such as Indexed Universal Life. Not only do these policies provide a guaranteed death benefit that, in certain circumstances, may be used to offset significant medical expenses, but when equipped with long term care riders* they can provide a robust solution for some of the most challenging financial circumstances imaginable—providing valuable medical care and assistance during an individual’s frailest and most vulnerable years.
For more information on IULs, long term care riders, and other insurance marketing topics, please contact Simplicity Life directly at 800.921.3100.
* Product and features may differ depending on the state of issuance and may not be available in all states