Article Series

An Open Letter to Bill Gates

Article submitted by Raymond Smith, CLU, CLTC, MBA - The Long Term Care Specialist. Ray Smith can be reached at 303-699-4172 and visit his website:

Dear Bill,

Do you and Melinda have long term care insurance? If you do, congratulations for making yet another good business decision. Here is why:

Through your funding of the Bill and 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. 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 loss of funding 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 long term care services 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 advisors 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

P.S: Some of your less affluent friends may also find value in this letter. After all, anyone who has gone through the trouble and expense of estate planning has, by definition, thought about where they want their assets to go when he or she is no longer here. An unplanned $1.0M - $2.0M expense could destroy that planning.

¹As of September 1, 2013.
²Genworth 2013 Cost of Care Survey

About Raymond Smith, CLU, CLTC, MBA

A CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter), Ray has also earned the prestigious CLTC (Certified in Long Term Care) designation. His academic background includes a BS in Business Administration from Indiana University and a MBA from the University of Tennessee. Ray enjoys helping both individuals and businesses. As an independent broker, he searches multiple insurance companies to find the best fit and best value for his clients’ particular needs. Long term care insurance fills a gap in traditional benefit plans…most people do not know that health insurance, including Medicare, does not pay for long term care. For businesses, Ray can implement long term care insurance plans at little or no cost to the employer. Ray Smith is available for consultations and as a speaker for civic, religious, and other interested organizations. Learn more about Ray Smith by visiting his Linkedin profile.

Ray Smith is currently licensed in: Colorado, California, Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.

© 2013, All Rights Reserved by Raymond Smith, The Long Term Care Specialist

Posted December 2013 on