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  • National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

The Longevity Revolution:  Are You Ready for the Future?

Alzheimer's Advocate Meryl Comer Speaks Out

Northwestern Mutual hosted Meryl Comer, broadcast journalist and Alzheimer's advocate, as she brought her wake up call to our area recently.

Americans are living longer than ever before.  Longer lifespans involve risks as well as benefits and financial security plans must address both.  Not only do we need to cover the costs of 20-30 years in retirement, but also be prepared for what most of would rather not think about.

In addition to sharing her experience caring for her husband who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at the age of 57, other insights of Meryl's presentation included:

  • According to AARP, two-thirds of people 65 and older will eventually need long-term care, and one in eight of those will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's.   Comer relates. “You need to ask yourself, ‘Can I remain financially stable if a loved one or I develop a debilitating illness?' and if the answer is no, look into your options.”
  • Having a solution for possible long-term care needs is especially critical for women, who account for 75 percent of caregivers, are more often charged with caring for elderly parents or spouses, and typically outlive men.
  • Costs are significant and rising –According to the National Clearinghouse for Long-Care Information 2010 you would have paid more than $19,000 on average for a home health aide's assistance three times a week.
  • Medicare doesn't pay for long-term care ­– Similar to conventional health insurance, Medicare generally covers short-term, acute medical conditions and limited related rehabilitation, not chronic care at home or in an inpatient facility.  Medicaid may cover long-term care but individuals must have very limited assets and meet strict financial requirements.
  • Caregiving can impact careers and incomes – Many people must juggle caregiving with their regular work responsibilities.  When the demands are too great they may leave their jobs, like Comer did, losing income and retirement savings opportunities as they incur additional costs for care.
Robert A Sink

Robert A Sink, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®

Wealth Management Advisor

  • Office 919-766-6300
  • Mobile 919-280-0137


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