The Thing Of It Is: Who’s Going to Wipe Your Bottom When You Can’t?

Years ago, when I was still in high school, the mother of a friend of mine had a stroke.  Now my friend and her mother had an agreement.  NO heroic medical efforts were to be used in such a case.  But all my friend’s siblings out voted my friend, and heroic efforts were provided.  Long story short, my friend wiped her mother’s bottom for nearly 4 years and all her mother could say, due to her stroke, was “The thing of it is.”

Let’s face it.  Nobody likes to think about these end of life issues because they aren’t the most pleasant things to think about.  But neither are the alternatives.  Contemplate finding yourself in a position where your bottom isn’t being wiped as frequently as it should be, and you’ll be delighted to make plans for a better future. And remember your loved ones don’t cherish the prospect of wiping your bottom any more than you look forward to having them wipe it for you.  So take the time now to find out how you can prevent either of these things from becoming a reality.

Obviously, money has a lot to do with this matter, whether you want to believe it or not.

That is because 8 out of 10 Americans worry about what they can spend in retirement without running out of money.

On top of this, they are afraid to live the lifestyle they really are hankering to live because of this fear.[i]  And so, as you know, this makes the one-per-centers the only ones who are not worrying about running out of money before they run out of life.

Interestingly enough however, more than 3 out of 4 Americans today would be willing to set aside 20% of their current retirement savings in order to eliminate this fear.[ii]  And more than 2 out of 3 people would be delighted to know how much money they need to set aside before they retire in order to avoid long term care eating away their retirement savings.[iii]

Pathetically though, less than 6 out of 100 people understand how long term care works or how the lack of planning for assisted living will destroy your retirement.[iv]  In fact, according to the Wharton School of Finance most people choose to ignore the facts surrounding long term care rather than deal with them because people tend to ignore things they don’t understand instead of discovering the facts and planning accordingly.

So here are some big, bad, bold facts that you need to know and understand about assisted living:

  • In-home health will cost you at least $45,000 annually for each person who needs assistance with two of the daily functions of life, like; wiping your own bottom or dressing yourself.
  • If you move to an assisted living facility your cost will be around $90,000 annually on average but will increase if you need help with more than two of the minimal daily functions, such as; feeding yourself, walking or getting out of bed or a chair.
  • If you need mild assistance and utilize home based assisted living and fall into the 90th percentile for life expectancy, your total cost of long term care will be around $288,767 over your life time.
  • If you need more assistance in your home beyond two daily functions, your cost of long term care will rise to $734,250 if your longevity is amongst the 90th[v]

Think you’ll commit suicide before you spend that kind of money on assisted living? Think again.  It’s pretty hard to find a way to accomplish anything when you can’t even wipe your own bottom.  Besides for every year you live beyond the age of 50, you will progressively lose cognitive ability not only due to genetic factors, which are unavoidable but from the life-style choices that you have made throughout your life.[vi]  All this means you may not be able to reason through why you aren’t able to wipe your own bottom let alone figure out a way to be able to pay someone else to do it for you.

But this financial frustration can so modestly be avoided simply by planning ahead.  Unpretentiously, all you have to do is save an additional $1,000,000 beyond what you know you’ll need to retire comfortably with.  In this way you’ll never have to worry about how long term care will destroy your retirement and your retirement savings again!

Obviously, this is a simple and straight forward solution, but as Einstein said, “Just because it is simple, doesn’t make it easy.” And that is why owing guaranteed cash value life insurance, and to some degree annuities, becomes essential if you are planning to live comfortably into your retirement. Because “the thing of it is,” without guaranteed cash value life insurance you will have 35 to 55% less money to live on in your retirement than those who do own guaranteed cash value life insurance.[vii]  And owning guaranteed cash value life insurance is that is easy to do.

[i] 2015 Texas Tech Retirement Planning and Living Survey

[ii] ibid

[iii] ibid

[iv] 2012 Health and Retirement Study, Michael Fink

[v] Ibid

[vi] Age-Related Cognitive Decline, Marilyn S. Albert PhD, Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University

[vii] Optimizing Retirement Income, Wade Pfau Ph.D., CFA