Archive for November, 2013

An Open Letter To Bill Gates

November 25, 2013

Dear Bill,

Do you and Melinda have long term care insurance?  If you do, congratulations for making yet another good business decision.  If not, then you should.  Here is why:

Through your funding of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation you are both making the world a better place.  Since 1997, the Foundation has given $38.3 billion¹ in grants to a host of non-profit organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 100 countries.  To name but a few of the many things your generous contributions have accomplished: vaccination of children around the world against cholera and typhoid, access to safe drinking water in Africa, improved food production in India, ongoing research to develop effective treatment (and prevention) of drug-resistant tuberculosis, and a reduction in under-nutrition of children worldwide.  Within the United States, Foundation funds are helping students be ready for college when they graduate from high school as well as providing funding for many university scholarships.   All of these worthwhile efforts take money…a lot of money. 

Nationally, the median cost of a private room in a nursing home is $84,000 per year².  The cost of 24-7 care provided by one home health aide (not registered nurse) is $166,000 per year².  These are median costs.  My guess is that you and Melinda will want better than the median quality of care.  Even if only one of you eventually needs long term care services, the total cost of that care can easily exceed $1,000,000.

Without long term care insurance, care itself for either you or Melinda will result in $1.0 million less becoming available for making the world a better place.  Given the more likely scenario of you and Melinda both living long enough to need long term care, this increases the of funding loss to more than $2.0 million.  How many lives could be impacted with $2.0 million?  Bill, you and Melinda can obviously pay for the cost of needing long term care from your own assets (self-insuring).  Doing so however, will reduce the funds available for the good works performed by the Foundation. 

If you and Melinda do not already have sufficient long term care insurance, I urge you to tell your advisers to help you obtain it.  If either of you have any questions about long term care insurance or why you should have it, feel free to contact me at (303) 699-4172 or  I will be glad to help.


Raymond Smith, CLU, CLTC, MBA
The Long Term Care Specialist
© Raymond Smith, The Long Term Care Specialist, 2013
¹As of September 1, 2013.
²Genworth 2013 Cost of Care Survey