Your retirement plan should address the very real possibility that a
chronic illness could strike -- whether it's you, your spouse or
another loved one who is affected. For many retirees, there is a
good chance the chronic illness they may face later in life will be
Today, more than 5.4 million Americans have
Alzheimer's, and nearly half of people 85 and older have
Alzheimer's. So, while living well past your retirement age is
desirable to practically everyone, living a long life does come with
Financial costs associated with Alzheimer's
Put frankly, Alzheimer's is an expensive disease to deal with.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, payments for care
associated with Alzheimer's totaled $200 billion in 2012. That's
just for care related directly to treating the patient; it does not
factor in lost wages or other expenses loved ones may incur when
caring for the person with Alzheimer's. And care received in a
nursing home or assisted living facility can easily run $3,000 a
month or more, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human
The good news is that planning ahead can help put you in a
position where you can afford chronic care. It should be part of any
discussion you may have concerning life insurance and chronic care
needs in retirement.
"A plan for dealing with the costs of chronic care needs to be
implemented before you develop Alzheimer's or another chronic
disease," says Dr. Robert Pokorski, chief medical strategist for The
Hartford's life insurance programs.
The Hartford offers a couple of optional add-ons to its life
insurance policies that are designed to help retirees combat costs
associated with chronic care. The LifeAccess Accelerated Benefit
Rider, for example, allows an individual who becomes certified as
chronically ill and satisfies the terms of the rider to access the
death benefit in the insurance policy, and the benefit can be used
for both medical and nonmedical expenses.
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You are not powerless in fighting Alzheimer's
"It's important to remember that while there's no known cure for
Alzheimer's, living a heart-healthy lifestyle can help delay the
onset of the disease," Dr. Pokorski says. He offers this "AGELESS"
prescription for living a long, healthy life:
See the glass as half-full.
care -- See your doctor regularly.
It has mental benefits as well as physical.
Exercise your brain by learning new skills, playing games,
reading, traveling, engaging in hobbies and interests.
-- Eat a balanced diet to help maintain a reasonable weight,
cholesterol level and blood pressure.
Try to get at least eight hours each night.
Socialize -- Spend time with
friends and loved ones.
No one wants to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but lifestyle and
financial decisions you make today can help you avoid many of the
hardships that come along with it. For more information on life
insurance policies and riders that can help you plan for a
financially secure retirement, visit
The LifeAccess Accelerated Benefit Rider is supplementary to the
primary need for death benefit protection and is available at issue
for an additional cost. Licensed health care practitioner
certification of chronic illness must recur annually and must state
the insured is in need of services under a plan of care that is
likely to be needed for life. The rider may not cover all of the
costs associated with the chronic illness of the insured. Receiving
benefits under the rider will reduce the death benefit available to
the policy's beneficiaries. Rider benefits may be taxable depending
on the owner's particular circumstances. A tax adviser should be
"The Hartford" is The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and
its subsidiaries, including the life insurance issuing companies of
Hartford Life Insurance Co. (New York) and Hartford Life and Annuity
Insurance Co. (outside New York), Simsbury, Conn. The mailing
address for both issuers is P.O. Box 2999, Hartford, CT 06104-2999.