Boomers Face Living Longer and Lifestyle Health Management

Centenarians may be the fastest-growing segment of the senior population. Baby boomer retirees may significantly impact the centenarian movement, especially females. People are living longer and healthier. But longevity can be retirement risk multiplier to all other retirement risks, and living longer will only acerbate medical and elder care bills.

Recently, Virginia McLaurin experienced the meeting of her—her long life. Virginia, at age 106, had the privilege of meeting President Obama and the First Lady at the White House. She was so excited to meet them she started dancing and to the amazement of most, the President joined in on her celebration. Virginia had a cane and used like a prop from a Fred Astaire movie as she waved it around and danced. Yes, she uses a cane, but she’s still standing, still dancing. But what’s she spending on health care costs?

Medical expenses and elder care costs are big-ticket items in retirement, but the real price tag of retirement could grow even larger with an increase in life expectancy. Good Medicare coverage, long-term care insurance and lifestyle behaviors are the mitigating obstacles to going broke over health and long-term care expenditures.
Watch the interview with investment advisor representative Dan Stockemer talking about long-term care and its personal impact on his family. [URL)

One of the real concerns regarding long-term care (LTC) planning is the ever-shrinking inventory of insurance companies offering standalone LTC policies. The trend seems to suggest LTC hybrid policies using annuities or life insurance may be the future of LTC coverage. Some hybrid policies have limited LTC benefits embedded in their policies. Others attach LTC benefits as riders and there’s a cost to that. But the marketing mantra behind these hybrid product lines is “if you don’t use it (“it” being any of the LTC benefits), you don’t lose it,” (that being that cash values).

Of course, most policies are deducting the morbidity cost for the LTC coverage, so you’re still paying something for the benefits. But something may be better than nothing if you experience the need for long-term care. Most retirees will experience the need for some elder care even if it’s assisted home living, the most popular benefit offered in the LTC market. Consistent physical activity and proper diet can add to the quality of life during retirement. That lifestyle trend among baby boomers may have more centenarians in their demographic than any previous generation. As Star Trek’s Mister Spock was so fond of saying, “Live long and prosper.”

Syndicated financial columnist Steve Savant interviews investment advisor representative Dan Stockemer on money topics that need addressing.