As the fastest growing minority in the U.S., Hispanics will likely face a Long Term Care challenge in their families. According to a recent AARP article: “Challenges of Long Term Care” (November 2013, Vol. 54, No 9), 18 million people over age 65 will be dealing with a disability by 2030, up 11 million in 2010. Also, the article highlights that by 2050; there will be three times as many people age 80 and older as in 2010. In addition, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services projects that 70% of all Americans over the age of 65 will require some type of Long Term Care services.
Why should Hispanics in America pay attention to these numbers? As Hispanics move to the U.S. (like I did) in pursue of the American Dream, we face a challenge which, if not planned for, can have a significant impact, both financially and emotionally. Like many Hispanics, I grew up in a very close and extended family environment (with many aunts, uncles, cousins, and even great-uncles, great-aunts and great-grandparents). I noticed how the family members took care of the elderly at their home. My great-grandmother was given care at home until she passed at the age of 107, my great aunt was taken care of until she passed of 104, and my aunt until she passed at 105. Back then, there were no Long Term Care policies to speak of--the family took care of it.
It was a challenge to juggle my own family priorities in the U.S. with my ailing parents’ needs back home. This is when I had a serious family conversation with the siblings back home and the ones in the U.S. We all agreed to help in any way we could; financially, taking turns, and looking at quality of life alternatives. Here are the three challenges I discussed with my family as we developed a strategy for the long term care for our parents;
1. Cost: This challenge addresses the cost of long term care at home or at a skilled facility. Quality Long Term Care can be costly (today the national average is $6000/mo); so researching different facilities and home care providers is paramount to identify resources available. In many cases, for adult children living away from their parents, it may be more cost effective to look into purchasing a Long Term Care plan for the parents and even share the cost.
2. Longevity: This challenge addresses longevity. We do not know how long our parents (or ourselves for that matter) are going to live but in my family, many have surpassed 100! This can be a costly and emotional challenge for all involved; especially of the family members who live away. Another issue to consider with longevity is the kind of care required which may only be available through skilled professionals.
3. How Soon: Purchasing a Long Term Care plan when you are younger and healthier is the time to shop for a plan. The Long Term Care history show the average age for purchasing a plan is 58 years old. Long Term Care is not about growing old—a Long Term Care event can happen at any age. Planning ahead can mitigate financial and emotional hardships.
Jose "Rafi" Rodriguez is a Retired Colonel, United States Air Force and President of his own financial services practice, Rodriguez Financial Strategies, LLC, 2661 Commons Blvd, Beavercreek OH 45431 (937) 427-4292, cell (937) 304-7393, Fax (937) 427-1242. Rafi Rodriguez is also the President of the Center fo Hispanic Leadership Ohio.
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Jose R. Rodriguez, Financial Consultant. Advisory Services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. An SEC Registered Investment Advisor, Jose R. Rodriguez, Investment Advisor Representative. Rodriguez Financial Strategies LLC and the Securities America companies are unaffiliated.