Over the last few weeks, the national political debate has, at long last, centered on my personal beef: the national debt. Well, the statutory cap on that debt. I have listened eagerly as both sides have focused on how the opposition is preventing the nation from solving this serious problem. All the while, I sit with arms folded smugly atop my soapbox. I jeer with co-works at our leaders’ continued unwillingness to address the mountain of debt that’s been accumulating over the last 50+ years. My pride has peaked only moments before face-to-ground contact. “Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall.” -Proverbs 16:18 I have great criticism for generations of government leaders who have chosen to ignore the impending debt crisis. I (and the rest of the country) have valid basis for this criticism. But I have an impending crisis of my own that I’ve been ignoring for years: long-term care (LTC) insurance. I write this post from the kitchen table of my wife’s grandfather (Jack). He is a tremendous example of the “greatest generation”. After his father died, he supported his family by earning $1/day at age 15 (during the Depression). He would soon join the army and fight in WWII. Jack has been a husband (x2), a father (x3), a brother (x3), a dish washer, cook, and restaurant owner. (If you don’t know a “Jack”, I hope you will take the time to get to know one before these amazing people leave us forever.) Time has taken its toll on the mind of this heroic man and for the last year, he has required constant care. I contrast Jack’s end-of-life care to my father’s situation. He had one month of in- home care provided by family members as his health declined. At the very end, he was hospitalized for a week and a half before his death. Like Jack, my dad had been a hard worker his entire life and was still farming all day until 3 months before he died. Dad had relatively brief end-of-life care while Jack’s future care could stretch out another two or three years. Having witnessed both my dad and now my grandfather-in-law, I have had first-hand experience of the importance of LTC insurance planning. Yet I (like many others) have no LTC plan for my mother, my wife, or myself. As I said, I am indeed a hypocrite for condemning our political leaders for inaction as I face these serious problems sitting on my hands. What’s holding me back? Like any personal finance area, one of the largest barriers is cost. I know that any type of LTC plan is going to be expensive even before I do specific research. In my situation, do we sell my mother’s home to pay for Long-Term Care as needed or do we pay the premiums for LTC coverage now? The next roadblock is complexity. You are often working with the wants and needs of a parent or grandparent. This is made more difficult if they are unwilling or unable to address the matter. Further complicating factors are the numerous parties that can be involved in the LTC decisions. When five siblings are trying to choose (and pay for) mom’s care, the word “complicated” hardly seems to cover it. If you choose LTC insurance coverage, you will also be boggled by the broad range of choices and precious little objective advice. But I think the biggest obstacle in the matter is fear. I’m afraid to think about my mom, my wife, or myself slowly dying. This is scary and I’d rather not deal with it until I absolutely must. I routinely suffer from “analysis paralysis”, but this is something much weightier than getting the best deal on a dishwasher. A problem so costly, so complex, and so frightening is easier ignored than dealt with. I will always be able to find a less expensive, less complicated, and less scary issue that demands my attention TODAY. So now I better understand how our national debt problem has grown so large. Maybe I’m not so different from the political leaders I have been criticizing. But our problems, especially the big, scary ones, are not going away. When I return home from vacation, I’m going to sit down with mom and start talking. What about you? Is long term care planning perpetually being pushed to the bottom of your to-do list? If not LTC, are there other big, scary problems that you need to address? If it’s a problem for you, then it’s likely a problem for 4 to 5 million other Americans; you are not alone. Let’s not allow pride trip us up. This guest post is part of the CPF Writer Auditions . It was written by Jared, who is a husband and father of four. As a full-time tax accountant and part-time farmer, he’s doing his best to manage the green in rural America. Related Articles: Long Term Care Insurance: Are Seniors The Only Ones Who Need it? Can the U.S. Solve its Debt Problems? Choosing Insurance – FPU Review #7 Do newlyweds need life insurance? Why Should You Buy Disability Insurance? Average Car Insurance Rates by Age Health care options for Christians This article was written by a Guest Author. If you would like to write a guest post for ChristianPF , you can find out how here . The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .
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Long Term Care Insurance Planning: Is Pride Your Holdup?