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Most Canadians think government programs will cover LTC

Release Date: 04/14/2016
Source: Investment Executive
Staff Reference: Luke O'Connor

Dwarka Lakhan

The costs associated with long term care (LTC) can derail your clients' best-laid retirement plans, according to Susan St. Amand, president of Sirius Financial Services in Ottawa. LTC costs can erode clients' retirement savings and force them to sell their assets to pay for care – leaving little or no assets to pass on to their children or other beneficiaries.

It is therefore critical that you discuss LTC costs with your aging clients. LTC is not usually top of mind for most people — until it is too late.
Statistics Canada indicates that one in 10 Canadians will require LTC by age 55; three in 10 by age 65; and five in 10 by age 75. And the need is becoming greater each year, with 225,000 people turning 65 each year in a population of which more than 16% are over 65.

LTC costs are expected to rise dramatically, according to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA). In a paper published in 2014, CLHIA noted that most Canadians mistakenly believe that existing government programs will take care of their LTC needs. But that is not necessarily the case. Unless clients qualify for government assistance, they are responsible for their own care.

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