“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”
~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road
July has been a quiet month here at Intentional Retirement because I’m spending much of it on the road. We just returned from a family trip to Colorado (3 cheers for archery, rock climbing, hiking, horse back riding, zip lining and white water rafting) and in a few days we’re leaving for a swing through the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Vancouver and Whistler) to visit friends and cross a few more things off my 50-by-50 List. We’ll return to “regularly scheduled programming” in August.
In the meantime, I hope you’re filling your own days with fun and adventure. Remember one of the key tenets here at IR: Don’t wait for “Someday” to start living the life you truly want to live. Decide what you want out of life and then take those plans very seriously. Here are a few posts from the archives to help drive that point home:
To paraphrase Twain, at the end of life you’ll be much more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did. Do everything you can to make sure that list of regrets is short.
Have a great week!
Have you ever bought anything that totally made sense at the time, but now you don’t really want (or need) it? The treadmill that now doubles as a clothes rack. The timeshare you bought after a high-pressure sales pitch. The Franklin Mint plate collection.
For some people life insurance falls into this category. It made perfect sense at the time. With a growing family and people relying on your income, you needed a plan just in case the unexpected happened.
But then, thankfully, the unexpected didn’t happen. The kids grew up and moved out. The value of the nest egg went up and debt was paid down. Now, with retirement on the horizon, the “income replacement” argument for life insurance is no longer quite as compelling. At this stage in life you’re more concerned with how to pay for your healthcare and long-term care. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to swap your existing life insurance for some long-term care insurance? Now you can.
How it works
If you have a permanent (e.g. whole life) insurance policy that you no longer want, one option is to cash it in and quit paying the premium. A better option might be to use the cash value in that insurance policy to buy a new, paid-up life insurance policy with a long-term care rider.
How does life insurance with a long-term care rider work? Just like with your old policy, the new policy will act as life insurance if you die. Where it differs is that it will also give you some multiple of the face value of the policy in long-term care benefits. For example, if you bought a $50,000 policy, the rider might provide $150,000 in long-term care benefits. These policies also typically have an option that allows you to terminate the policy for a full refund if you decide you don’t want it.
In other words, these can be win-win-win policies. In the above example, if you need care, you have $150,000. If you die without needing care, your heirs get the $50,000. If you decide you don’t want the policy, you can get a full refund.
I have had a number of clients use this strategy to repurpose an old life insurance policy into something more useful for their retirement years. If it sounds like something that might work for your situation, give me a call and I will connect you with my long-term care partner. She is licensed in all 50 States and would be happy to answer questions.
Have a great 4th!