Long Term Care Insurance


As Canada's population ages, and lives longer, a heavy burden is being placed upon the health care system (a system already struggling with overcrowding in hospitals, a shortage of doctors, and affordable care facilities). Statistics Canada estimates that the population of those 65 or older will increase 12 to 16 per cent by 2016, which as a percentage of the overall population represents a one-third increase. But in terms of seniors, this is an increase of almost 62 percent! In absolute numbers, this group will almost triple in just 18 years.


Provincial health plans can't hope to cope with all of your needs, and the situation is unlikely to improve with an aging population. Those with abundant financial resources will always be able to find alternative (though costly) solutions, but for many it may mean drawing upon retirement savings earlier than planned, or in larger amounts than would be prudent. With expenses for quality care facilities easily surpassing $3000 per month, this can put a heavy strain on personal savings and estate values, not to mention family members. The alternative for some may be to spend their golden years in less than ideal conditions in government facilities, if space is available. However, there is now a reasonable and affordable solution.

Long-term care insurance is available to provide funds to help an individual maintain their quality of life, either through home care, or if not possible, through care in a long term care facility. Benefits are payable after either injury or sickness, a cognitive impairment, inability to perform two or more specified activities of daily living, or medical necessity resulting from chronic illness. Benefit amounts are flexible, and can be tailored to what you need and can afford.

Given the importance of retirement planning and quality of life at retirement, a long-term care program should not be ignored. As Phyllis Diller was quoted as saying, "Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home." Make some decisions easier for your children, and give yourself and your spouse the choice. Long-term care programs make sense.

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Kirkham and Jack is working in partnership with Continuum Financial Centres , a subsidiary of Financial Horizons Group