Dennis (Denny) knows from first-hand experience with his dad about the importance of having a long-term care plan. His dad had Parkinson's disease, but always assumed his wife would be able to care for him as his condition got worse, so he never made any other arrangements. Sadly, his wife died suddenly about 12 years ago. Two very undesirable choices faced his father at the point where he needed round-the-clock care. He could use up the family legacy he had hoped to leave to his children on care at home or choose the second, less desirable but less costly option of going into a nursing home. As Denny says, "Leaving a legacy to us was so important to him that he swallowed his reservations and went to the nursing home. If he'd had long-term care insurance, he would have had more choices and would not have had to agonize over the options as he did."
When his employer offered long-term care insurance to employees and their spouses and domestic partners, Denny knew exactly what he wanted to do. He could sign up and pay the premiums through payroll deduction. "The most important thing was that I wanted to have choices," he said. "I didn't want to feel boxed in by old age and the things that come with that, like my dad experienced. Every place Dad turned was a wrong alley. I want to avoid that. I have nieces and nephews and I'd like to be able to preserve some of my finances to leave to them."
So what should people do when they find their way to Minnesota's "Own Your Future" website? "They should definitely take advantage of the opportunity to learn how they can plan ahead. It isn't as hard as it sounds and it is so important. Most of us are not wealthy enough to pay for our long-term care without planning. When you do the math, you can run through your nest egg so quickly, you really need another option. It is so important for people to read through the website material and find out just what their options are."