Long Term Care after Divorce
Danny Mensh, president of Mensh Insurance in Winston-Salem, North Carolina put out an interesting press release related to divorce recently. Mr. Mensh’s part in the equation is providing insurance of course, but he also makes some interesting observations concerning the need for long term care insurance and divorce.
He notes that the rate of divorce has been rising slightly despite a weakened economy and when older couples in between their 40s and 60s get divorced it can bring about lifestyle and financial planning issues that need to be addressed in a formal plan for income and asset protection that also includes long term care insurance. Danny Mensh said in his press release that “Long term care insurance is starting to gain attention in the divorce planning and settlement process,” and “There are two reasons why a couple, post divorce, should consider it carefully: 1- the loss of a built-in caregiver, and 2- to protect financial assets.”
Mensh points out that when an older couple breaks up, the spouse who normally ran the household was also the person who provided in-home care like cooking, cleaning and other assistance with daily activities, simply disappears. If the left behind spouse cannot care for themselves, they have a real problem on their hands. As Mensh stated “For many years during a marriage, the presumptive thought was that one spouse would do whatever was needed to care for the other. The burden could fall to the couple’s children, but perhaps the children were deeply affected by the divorce and want nothing to do with one or both parents. Purchasing Long Term Care insurance provides the protection and income to pay for a skilled nurse or caregiver to come into the home.”
Mr. Mensh has a good point here. Adding some long-term care insurance would allow you to protect your existing financial assets after a divorce. Paying for a court-ordered obligation to provide income to an ex-spouse can be ruinous if you don’t have the cash to cover the expenses. As Mensh points out, “To protect an asset base that would be used to provide ongoing income, it would be prudent to consider a certain amount of individual long term care insurance to preserve those assets and not disrupt the flow of income to the dependent ex. It is wise from all angles to take reasonable steps to protect oneself from a potentially burdensome financial requirement.” Just how much Long Term Care insurance one should purchase is another matter altogether of course. However, there are always different levels of coverage available depending on your financial position.