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ASSISTED LIVING-SOON AVAILABLE IN CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA

Many of our buyer clients are now in their 50´s-part of the group known as: BABY BOOMERS. Many of their comments and questions revolve around Quality of Life, Cost of Living, preserving their savings/investments, and some discuss the subject of soon having to take care of their ageing parents. That´s where Assisted Living enters the equation.

Two new developments, now in the final planning stages will offer spacious grounds in a natural environment, a wide selection of modern apartments, AND special housing facilities for persons needing Assisted Living. I´m confident that other developers will follow suit and also provide for this critical and growing need.

The biggest threat to our advancing age, of course, is Alzheimer´s. It is a worldwide problem. In Germany approximately 1.2 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. In the European Union, there are around 5 million people with dementia, of whom 60 - 70 percent are Alzheimer’s patients. Around 4.5 million Alzheimer’s patients live in the United States.

It´s estimated that, barring effective treatment, the number of Alzheimer’s victims in the U.S. alone will reach 14 million by the year 2050. The estimated cost to manage one Alzheimer’s patient today is $47,000 per year, according to the Alzheimer’s Disease Sourcebook. A person with Alzheimer´s lives an average of eight years after the onset of symptoms, but some live as long as 20 years.

In the U.S. eighty-six percent of the one million or so residents in assisted living facilities pay for care out of their own funds. The rest get help from family and friends and from state agencies. Medicare does not pay unless skilled-nursing care is needed and given in certified skilled nursing facilities.


PAYING FOR LONG TERM CARE

Long Term Care Insurance

Long term care insurance can protect personal assets and inheritance for the family, provide greater choice in the selection of long term care settings (nursing and assisted living facilities) and generally provide for financial security. Recently enacted federal health insurance legislation has helped make private long term care insurance a more viable option for paying for long term care costs while preserving personal savings, choice and dignity.

The recently enacted Health Insurance Reform Act includes consumer protections for purchasers of long term care insurance as well as clarifications that make treatment of private long term care insurance identical to that of health insurance coverage. Starting January 1, 1997, individuals are able to include out-of-pocket expenses for long term care and long term care insurance premiums with their other itemized medical expenses on their annual tax returns. Long term care and other medical expenses are deductible, to the extent that they exceed the federal government’s 7.5 percent threshold of adjusted gross income. Also, the insurance benefits consumers receive, for the most part, will not be taxable as income.


THE COSTS

Long term care insurance policy premiums are set based on several factors: age, health, length of deductible period, amount paid and duration of benefits. Higher daily benefits and optional features, such as inflation protection and non forfeiture benefits, increase the premium. According to the Health Insurance Association of America, the annual premium for a low-option policy for a person at age 50 is about $850; at 65, the same policy costs about $1,800; and at 79, about $5,500. (You should consult with your insurance or financial advisor on current costs.)


PLAN AHEAD

"The best thing people can do is to try to plan for their later years and try to remain as functional as possible," says William Thies, Ph.D., vice president of medical and scientific affairs at the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago. "And stay connected to the world, because the literature suggests that social isolation is a contributor to unhealthy aging."
Steven Ferris, Ph.D., director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at the New York University School of Medicine, makes three recommendations:

· Stay mentally active. "The more you challenge the brain, the more you’ll be able to maintain it," says Ferris. "When you’re stimulating the brain, you’re growing more interconnections and maybe even growing new neurons. The more brain cells and connections you have, the longer you’ll be able to function well, even if you get Alzheimer’s."

· Stay physically active. Physical exercise improves brain function as well as benefiting the rest of your body.

· Have a healthy diet and stay in good physical health. These are essential for maintaining good brain function.


Paul Juan comments:

Buying an apartment in Cartagena as a vacation getaway, an investment, or as a primary or second home makes a lot of sense. Our weather temperatures are ideal-similar to Florida but without the high humidity. We experience no hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, mud slides, heavy flooding, forest fires, or harsh weather. Because Cartagena is at a lower latitude there is little change between the time the sun sets and the time it rises. Here, nature seems in harmony and more predictable. Our Caribbean location is ideal. We enjoy the soft warm ocean breezes, plus the physical opportunity to take a walk, a dip, go fishing or play a round of golf whenever the urge hits.

The people of Cartagena, and Hispanics in general, are respectful of others. They have a special kindness towards children and the elderly. Medical facilities, technicians, nurses, care givers and Doctors are of high quality. They listen to their patients, offer comfort, and quality health care at very reasonable costs. Which brings me to another reason for the increasing demand in purchasing an apartment or home in Cartagena-in general, the cost of living averages less than half of what you may be used to!

I´m excited about what I predict will be a trend in my realty offerings... modern apartments, spacious grounds, a wide range of popular activities, a high degree of personal security, low costs, AND Assisted Living facilities.

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E-Mail: paul@cartagenarealty.com. Phone Call Reception: Mon Thru Friday 9:30am - 1:00pm and 2:00pm - 6:00pm. Saturday 9:30am - 1:00 pm.
Office: Bocagrande, Cra. 1 Calle 13 Edificio Cartagena de Indias - Local 1. Tel.: (57 5) 665 0515. Celular: (57) 311 660 2756. Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

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