Happy Spooky Halloween
Dear Julia,

Greetings from Chambers Wald, LLP.  We hope you had a good Halloween  with plenty of chocolate and candy corn. Like you, we are noticing that the year is slipping away, the holiday season is upon us and at least in some parts of the county, autumn is here.   


Flower Gone to Seed In Northern California we are either STILL doing summer or FINALLY having summer weather.  This Halloween it's all about Orange and Black, in the pumpkin patches and on the children's trick or treat bags, on the trees and in the Giants' dugout.   


The worst event of this autumn season is Hurricane Sandy causing destruction and some deaths in the Caribbean, including on Cuba, and along the Eastern Coast of the United States.   


The beauty of the orange and black cannot make up for the storms, especially when you know the storms of late are more and more intense.  It conjures up more black than orange.

Sobering Spooky Numbers

Now that you are in the beginnings (at least) of a sober mood, I want to talk about some spooky numbers and, yes, I am willing to give you a little post Halloween scare.   


I want to give you this scare only to impel you to a decision.  As always what you chose to do is your decision, but I hope you will make your decision based on facts.  So here are some facts.


Because this firm does estate planning and probate, what is always on my mind is: I will not live forever.  I also think that dying isn't the worst of it, at least not from my viewpoint.     


The worst is becoming unable to remember, losing your short term memory so you don't remember what you ate for breakfast, or even if you ate it, being unable to understand numbers so that 90 and 900 are indistinguishable and being disoriented.   


Your chances of losing your cognitive capacity is directly correlated with how long you live.  

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That said, here are some scary numbers:


Gas Prices

It is a fact that of the people who live to 85, 46% will have some form and level of Alzheimer's disease.   



What are the chances of getting to 85?  Not bad.   

  • 38% of men and 50% of women can be expected to live to 90;  
  • 14% of men and 25% of women to 95.   
So if you have luck and genes gearing you for longevity, your chances of living a long life is good and concomitantly your chances of needing care because your mind is not fully functional is pretty high.



The statics are that 60% of men and 80% of women will need chronic care.   


Who will provide that care for you and if it someone who is paid, how will you pay for the care?  You do not want to be among the growing number who declare bankruptcy because they cannot pay for the care they need.


If you are cared for at home, the annual cost in California, according to a study by Genworth, now is $51,148; in San Francisco that number is $60,632; in Santa Rosa it is $56,628.

If these numbers are within the plan you have,
I am glad.

40% off If they are not, I would like it if you would begin planning your budget for the future so that you have some way to pay for care.   


Once more I am suggesting you purchase Long Term Care insurance from a reputable carrier.   


Even if you have a loved one who is willing and able to care for you, you may not want to impose this on that person as a full time job.  Your care will be exhausting to even a young and loving relative.  If the caregiver is your age, being your caretaker may make true the expression, "you'll be the death of me".   


Just think how tired you are being with someone who keeps repeating himself, how you get tired (or annoyed?) by the person who asks the same question again and again even if the questioner is your beloved grandson's, "Are we there yet?"   


Picture that or another question being asked every half hour for a year.   


You need paid caretakers because the job is difficult and needs to be shared among several people, each of whom can be reinvigorated by having some time away.

So, long term care insurance.

The earlier in your life that you buy it, the less you pay each year.  It may be that you are never too young to buy Long Term Care Insurance.    


Electoral College Map

In the beginning, LTC insurance plans were, frankly, not so good.  The industry has gotten a lot more creative so there are different ways to afford this insurance.   


One idea is to have a rider on your life insurance policy, another is to tie your LTC policy to an asset like your 401(k) plan.   


Also, the choices you make about the provisions within the policy are important and factor into the amount of your premium.   


You will decide how long you wait, if at all, until you get money for care, how much money you get each day and what can be paid for.       


I DO NOT SELL THIS INSURANCE so I am not telling you about all the ins and outs.  But I can give names of insurance brokers and I can review with you the proposed product the broker is suggesting you buy.  I am only saying, you need to make a decision about whether to pay for this kind of insurance.   


And then hope you never need it as you glide gracefully through your 90's without loss of cognitive or physical functioning.   

The Best Insurance

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 In my view, the best insurance is the insurance you never need, e.g., if you live in Northern California and not New Jersey aren't you glad you don't need your flood insurance?


Now, I hope you buy LTC insurance and never need it! 

If you would like a referral to an insurance broker please contact me at 415.482.7555.  And, if you need help in the area of trusts and estate planning, please call for an appointment.  The first half-hour phone conversation is FREE.




Julia Wald
Chambers Wald, LLP
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About Long Term Care Insurance

We do NOT sell Long Term Care (LTC) insurance and do not receive kickbacks for referring people to an agent.

We DO think LTC insurance is an important option for your retirement plan.