A 70 Percent Chance of Showers
Teresa Bear | Feb 17, 2014, midnight
4.“Long-term care is primarily a woman’s problem”—TRUE TIMES 2!
Women often face a double burden for long-term care. Let’s take the case of an “average” American married couple. Statistically, the wife will be 3 1/2 years younger than her husband (in my case I’m 4.3 years younger than my husband). At age 65, according to the standard insurance mortality tables, the husband is going to live to be about 80. The wife will make it to age 84. Sad to say, but based on these averages, a married woman can expect to be a widow for 7 1/2 years. The implications for long-term care for the woman is enormous. Remember the home caregiver statistics above? Thirty-eight percent of caregivers are spouses. In this case, the loving wife takes care of her husband until he passes away—and then she desperately hopes that her daughter (or daughter in-law)—the next 33 percent—will attend to her needs. However, if there are no family members who can care for her, she may well join the sea of female faces found in the cafeteria of your local assisted living or skilled nursing facility.
So after identifying the problem, what’s the solution? Next month, I’ll explore several options for planning for a potential disability.
Teresa Bear, CFP, CPA (www.TeresaBear.com), specializes in retirement planning and asset preservation for retirees and those about to retire. Bear is the author of the new book “She Retired Happily Ever After.” Send questions to TBear@JCGrason.com.
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