Man sacrifices his
health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his
health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the
present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he
lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived. -
James J. Lachard
Enjoying nature at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
You have worked your
butt off for many years saving,
investing and doing mostly the right things. Now
you have accumulated financial assets and are ready to retire. All of the arrows
are pointing up and you are good to go.
You retire and life is
better than you ever expected. As the years pass your net worth
continues to grow and you are feeling confident and have relaxed into your
Then you get sick.
Health insurance covers
most of the expenses and you move on. Then something more serious happens and
costs are exploding. You need in-home care and services which are not covered by
your policy. You are starting to strain your nest egg and the financial security
that you have worked your entire life for is slip sliding away.
Long term care
According to a recent
story, a 55-year-old couple buying one common long-term care policy today can
expect to spend more than $5,000 a year on premiums. Those with certain
pre-existing conditions are not insurable or may have a waiting period before
the policy kicks in, so it is recommended to apply for coverage earlier in your
life rather than later adding years to your payments.
Paying for a long-term care plan when you are healthy is like a slow drip
depleting your assets and what if you never use it? The money is gone, never to
be recovered. Not only that, but what the care plan covers changes over time, so
what you are purchasing in your earlier years is not necessarily what you'll be
receiving in the years for which you might want the help.
are wrestling with this issue and looking for answers to “what if.” This is not
a fun topic, and none of us want to talk about a possible dependent future, but
the reality is that at some point we all are going to slow down and need care.
really want to spend your hard-earned money on high-priced health-related
this is a worrisome theme for all of us who are aging.
Fortunately, we have experienced living outside of the US and have enjoyed the
reduced costs of living including
healthcare for better pricing. Friends
we made in these foreign countries in the early years of our retirement have
since passed on, shedding some light on a possible care plan for our future.
This is about as good as it
gets in a tough situation other than depleting our
assets and living out our final time in a nursing home
in the States. We would prefer to gift our money to
organizations and projects of our choice, not spend all
of our hard earned cash out of need to cover our final
Place - Sample numbers to consider
We spoke to Dr. Luis
in Panajachel, Guatemala, who was able to give us some working figures for
medicine and in-home care for this geographical area. It was his opinion that,
unless one needed dialysis, which could not be done in Pana and which is
very expensive, generally speaking, pain and other various medications would
cost approximately 5,000Q (about $660USD) per month per couple or
about $7,920USD a year. Currently according to the government, the minimum wage
for a resident of Guatemala to cook, clean and provide daily care is about $9USD
a day or $3,285 per year.
about a doctor visit? They still make house calls!
today’s price of $39.00 per house visit and allowing more than one visit per
week would cost you $2,295 yearly all totaling about $13,500 dollars.
course you will need to spend money to feed your help, and most likely for a
child that they would bring with them to your home. And there are costs for your
rent, food, and other medical supplies like Depends, dressings and salves as
well. But the estimated total expenditure for pain and other meds, in-home care
and Doctor’s home visits would be just over $13,000USD per year. Again, this is
per couple. If you budget $15,000 per year for this category of health expense,
that would give you some slack in case you might want it.
that to what you might be able to find in the city or state where you are
currently living. According to the Genworth 2017 Cost of Care Survey, the
median cost of a private room in a nursing home in the States is over $97,000
annually, while the median annual cost of a home health aide is from $40,000 to $46,000.
American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance says the average stay in a
nursing home is 2.6 years for women and 2.3 years for men. Using the above
figures, you are looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars for a couple to
spend their final 2-3 years in a nursing home, and a considerable amount of
money for in-home care beforehand.
Do you have
enough savings allotted for this future expense?
up the options
before and have listed the prices you would pay in Mexico. Instead of $3,000 to
$8,000 per month for assisted living in the States, one can find assisted
for about $24,000USD per year which includes rent, meals, laundry, WiFi,
cable TV, transport and many times, a fitness room, a swimming pool and a nurse
on site. As Boomers age, we see these homecare opportunities overseas becoming
even better as foreign lands realize the benefits for their citizens to take
careers in health service and provide quality care in
facilities to an aging population.
foreign facilities offer massage and on site nurses
for you to open up to your options. We realize not everyone is inclined to move
overseas. Then again, not everyone can or wants to spend their assets to afford
US pricing either. And some, for one reason or another, do not have family they
can rely on to care for them when they age.
though it’s a difficult subject to broach, knowing you have affordable
alternatives can bring you peace of mind.