Lottery tickets or LTC premiums?

Do yourself a favor and think about getting some Long Term Care insurance, says Senior Correspondent Mike Causey. Your family will thank you.

If your house doesn’t burn down, does that mean all those fire insurance premiums you paid were “wasted ?”

If your car isn’t totaled, would you have been better off buying lottery tickets?

If your kids get by with minor cuts and scraps, were you foolish to have just-in-case health insurance?

Many people understand the principle behind insurance. You hope you never use it. But when it comes to Long Term Care insurance, a lot of people miss the boat. Which can be a very expensive mistake. Example:

While she was still very healthy and relatively young, my Mother did herself — and me too — two very big favors.

I convinced her to actually buckle her seat belt, not just touch it when she got behind the wheel. And I nagged her into buying Long Term Care insurance. She didn’t like to think negative thoughts, and the possibility of a car crash or the need for nursing care were not happy topics. But she did it anyhow.

She was a single parent and a long-time federal worker. Then she was a retired fed, and a NARFE member both in D.C. and Florida.

In Florida, she had a car wreck. Thanks to her reluctant decision to use a seat belt, she wasn’t seriously injured. But after a lifetime of good health and exercise, she was never the same. Eventually, she wound up in a wonderful assisted living facility in the D.C. area. It was like a garden apartment, surrounded by woods. And deer. Her only complaint was that all her neighbors were sick, old people!!! And that I didn’t visit enough!

She had a CSRS annuity, some Social Security and LTC. As a result, despite some very hefty costs, her favorite (and only) child had only minor out-of-pocket costs. My adult children, and their spouses, helped tremendously.

Bottom line, the LTC policy was a financial life-saver. A gift to me and her family relieving us of heavy costs. And to herself because it enabled her to live out her time in a wonderful place, close to her grandchildren.

Nobody likes to think about bad stuff. But sometimes you do, and it is a good thing. Today on our Your Turn show we’ll be talking with Joan Melanson from Long Term Care Partners. They run the federal LTC program. But there are also a few other reputable companies that offer LTC. Bottom line: We aren’t pushing LTC Partners or any other insurance plan. But we are pushing the idea that you seriously consider getting coverage, good coverage, from a good company.

Later in the show, we’ll talk with Federal Times senior writer Andy Medici about what — if anything — the election changes mean for federal workers. That’s 10 a.m. today (EST) a or in the D.C. area at 1500 a.m.


By Michael O’Connell

In 100 B.C., the Han Dynasty created keno, a lottery-like gambling game, to raise funds to help pay for defense, including the construction of the Great Wall of China.

Source: North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries


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