In the Middle of the Credit Down Grade: Long Term Care

There’s an excellent article on the web site “Helping You Care” (which is a quasi non-profit organization based in Florida) that points to the fact that within in the S&P downgrade was a strong reference to the issues around long term care.

The article notes, “In all the political finger pointing and hot rhetoric, few have noticed that in its Rationale for its current rating action, S&P specifically cites its previous report, “Global Aging 2011: In The U.S., Going Gray Will Likely Cost Even More Green, Now,” issued on June 21, 2011. In that report, S&P warned that a “looming U.S. fiscal bill is growing as the population gets older,” and that “the challenges facing the U.S. are more severe than those facing many of the other major industrial societies … because of its rapidly escalating health care costs.”

S&P’s June, 2011 report introduced the subject by stating:

“As the baby boomers start to reach retirement age, the percentage of the U.S. … population eligible for government support will begin to mount. Babies born in 1946 turn 65 this year and will become eligible for Medicare. They will also be entitled to start collecting full Social Security retirement benefits next year, under the current system. The U.S. government, however, is not currently collecting enough money to pay its Medicare, Social Security, and other long-term bills.”

In that June report, S&P pointed out, “In 2010, there were 26 retirees for every 100 members of the U.S. labor force. By 2050, however, we expect that there will be 50 retirees per 100 workers. In other words, the U.S. will go from four workers to support every retiree to only two.” [End of Quote]

The June S&P report, along with comments today from leaders in Washington, point to the fact that the future of long term health care as covered by Medicare and Medicaid are far from set in stone. In many cases, this were already a myth since they required dilution of retirement and other assets before being able to access.

As the debt ceiling discussion becomes more and more about health and long term care costs, those planning for their retirement will want to take every measure to protect themselves for the future, and that includes considering long term care insurance.

You can see the detailed article here.

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