Add Years To Your Life and Life To Your Years

Thanks to medical advances and better lifestyle choices, Americans are living longer. The benefit of our enhanced longevity is that we will have more time to spend with the people we love and to participate in the activities we enjoy.

However, the downside is as we age, we are more likely to be impacted by a chronic illness. Studies show that 7 in 10 Americans over age 65 will develop a chronic illness1 – such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, crippling arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, serious accidents, and degenerative neurologic diseases, according to Dr. Robert (Bob) Pokorski, Prudential’s vice president and medical director.

Therefore, he believes that it is very important that you plan accordingly. He also suggests that you follow his prescription for successful aging.

Dr. Bob’s AgeLess Prescription

While there is no way to prevent the onset of a terminal or a chronic illness, there are things you can do that could help you to stay healthier longer. Dr. Bob has arranged these recommendations into an acronym he calls his AgeLess prescription:

• A is for Attitude. Be optimistic, meet aging head on, on your terms
• G stands for Good medical care
• E is for Exercise. 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week
• L is for Learn, lifelong learning for whatever interests you
• E is for Eat right
• S is for Sleep. Be sure to get enough sleep
• S is for Socialization; stay socially engaged as you get older

Follow this link to Dr. Bob’s video to learn more about his common sense suggestions.

The Realities of Chronic Illness

If you are afflicted with a chronic illness, it is likely that you will need assistance performing some or all activities of daily living, such as bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring.

Often, care for a chronically ill person is provided at home and the primary caregiver is usually a spouse, adult child, or other family member. As a result, a chronic illness can have a significant emotional and financial impact on you and your loved ones.

In our previous spotlight article, Being Prepared Financially Should Include a Plan for Chronic or Terminal Illness, some of the financial and emotional concerns associated with chronic and terminal illness were discussed, along with how life insurance can help to meet your and your family’s needs.

The Power To Choose

If you have a need for death benefit protection and are also concerned about chronic or terminal illness, life insurance could help to address these needs. The primary role for life insurance is to provide financial protection for your loved ones if you were to die unexpectedly. The death benefit that life insurance provides could help your family replace your income, maintain their lifestyle or continue pursuing their dreams even if you are not there to share in their achievements.

However, some life insurance policies offer an optional rider that allows you to accelerate your death benefit to receive income if you become chronically or terminally ill. Riders like this are often subject to terms and conditions and come with an added cost. Such riders usually allow you to use the proceeds to pay for medical or non-medical expenses. For example, you could hire a visiting nurse, pay a family member for providing care, or reimburse them for taking time off from work. The proceeds could also be used for home renovations or to purchase groceries. You get to decide how to use the income to best meet your needs. It is important that you review the terms and conditions of the particular rider.

Your Financial Professional Can Help

If you want to learn more about our wide range of life insurance products, talk to your financial professional. He or she can also show you how life insurance can be used to provide death benefit protection and help protect you and your loved ones from the financial impact of a chronic or terminal illness.

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Service: National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information, 2012.