It's no surprise that people today are living longer. This means that percentage wise, one of, if not the fastest growing segment of our population are those over the age of 65. It's also no surprise to find a headline or an article in the newspaper on a daily basis about out-of-control health care spending, long waits for emergency and other types of treatment such as radiation therapy, and most of all, the questionable sustainable future of the Canadian health care system.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine in the U.S., 43% of Americans now turning 65 will need to be in a nursing home at least once during their lifetime, a remarkable statistic.

These issues obviously leave a big question mark as to who will look after us in our later years when we become sick and/or unable to care for ourselves. Would most individuals want to rely financially on children or family during this time? As anyone could imagine, the costs associated with long term health and personal care services could be immense. Certainly these costs, if considered, could be enough to seriously dent or wipe out someones retirement nest egg. This is where long term care insurance fits in.

Long term care insurance provides a tax-free monthly benefit if you are unable to perform any 2 of the 6 activities of daily living without the help of another person: bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence, eating or if you are suffering from a cognitive impairment endangering your health or safety (for example, Alzheimers disease and other types of permanent senile dementia). This benefit can be used to help to pay for the care or services that government or other plans dont provide for. It works to bridge the gap between what is provided and the extra care or services you might prefer. With long term care insurance, you have more choices about where you receive care (at home or in a facility) and the quality of care you receive.