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  • Learn About Credit Unions
    • Historical Timeline of Credit Unions

      As not-for-profit depository institutions, credit unions were created to serve members as credit cooperatives.

    • How is a Credit Union Different than a Bank?

      In the United States, credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members rather than to maximize corporate profits.

    • How to Find a Credit Union in Your Area

      Once you select a specific credit union, you can view more details about that credit union, including contact information, branch locations, services offered, and recent financial statements.

    • How to Join a Credit Union

      Anybody can join a credit union. Each credit union serves what’s called their “field of membership” – that’s the commonality between the members.

    • How to Start a Credit Union

      If your group is eligible, NCUA's staff will assist you with preparing an application for a charter and see that your group receives guidance in getting your federal credit union started.

    • Is a Credit Union Right for Me?

      Because credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions, their focus is serving the financial needs of their members and not making a profit.

    • Credit Union and Bank Interest Rate Comparison

      In general, credit unions offer higher savings rates, meaning that your money grows faster, and lower rates on loans, meaning that you will owe less over the lifetime of the loan.

    • Learn More About Your Credit Union

      NCUA makes financial information about credit unions available to the public through Financial Performance Reports (FPRs).

    • Low Income Credit Unions

      Credit unions provide valuable access to financial services for people underserved and unserved by traditional financial institutions.

    • Understanding Differences in Federal vs. Privately Insured Credit Unions

      Federally-chartered credit unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration and insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

    • What is a Credit Union?

      A federal credit union is a cooperative financial institution chartered by the federal government and owned by individual members.

  • Protect Your Finances
    • Consumer Protection Update

      Watch the latest NCUA Consumer Protection Update video to learn about important updates and changes that may affect you as a consumer."

    • Credit Reports and Credit Scores

      It’s a good idea to monitor your credit report on a regular basis to make sure that the information is accurate. You can also verify that no one has stolen your identity to make fraudulent charges.

    • Share Insurance Coverage

      Federally insured credit unions offer a safe place for you to save your money, with deposits insured up to $250,000, per individual depositor.

    • Online Financial Safety Tips

      When performing transactions on your credit union's website, it's wise to make sure that the website is legitimate and that your deposits are federally insured.

    • Prevent Identity Theft

      If you believe that someone has stolen your identity, you should contact any credit union, bank or creditor where you have an account that you think may be the subject of identity theft.

    • Frauds and Scams

      NCUA reports on frauds and scams aimed at credit union members. In this section, we provide an overview of recent activity.

    • Scams Targeting Seniors

      America's growing senior population is vulnerable to a broad range of financial crimes. In this section, NCUA provides tips on how seniors can protect themselves from fraud.

    • Tips for Young Adults

      Credit unions offer young adults desirable, affordable financial services, as well as the advantage of personal service developed to help them grow their savings. Many credit unions offer services within schools or have student-run branches.

    • Pocket Cents

      Learn about the history of money, different currencies used around the world, the power of dividends and how to be smart about preparing for your financial future with Pocket Cents from NCUA.

    • Understand Your Privacy Rights

      Federal privacy laws give you the right to stop (opt out of) some sharing of your personal financial information. The law permits your financial companies to share certain information about you without giving you the right to opt out.

  • Financial Tools and Resources
    • Brochures and Graphics

      These brochures and graphics may be linked, downloaded, or printed.

    • Calendar of Events

      View a listing of upcoming events, designations, and opportunities for each month.

    • College Scorecard

      Plan your entire financial aid packages online for all of the schools that you are considering.

    • Consumer Loan Calculator

      Explore your consumer loan, including the effect of adjusting number of payments, principal and interest rate on your monthly payment.

    • Consumer Resources

      Use these references and tools to make better informed financial decisions.

    • FAQs

      Locate answers in the Knowledge Base to a wide variety of frequently asked questions.

    • Games and Activities

      Test your financial knowledge with these games and activities for all ages.

    • Glossary

      Become an educated consumer by taking the mystery out of commonly used financial terms.

    • Lesson Plans and Resources

      Educators and parents can use these plans and resources to teach youth, tweens, and teens about saving, spending, budgeting, and the value of money.

    • Mortgage Loan Calculators

      Compare monthly payments and the amount of equity you would build with several kinds of fixed and adjustable rate mortgages.

    • Personal Budgeting Worksheet

      Take a close look at your income and expenses with this helpful worksheet that can identify where you might have room to save.

    • Savings & Retirement Calculator

      Get estimates based on your actual Social Security earnings record with this calculator.

    • Share Insurance Estimator

      Are your deposits insured? Find out with NCUA’s electronic Share Insurance Estimator.

    • Videos

      View NCUA's Consumer Report and Consumer Protection Update videos on current financial hot topics.

  • Credit Unions and You
    • Dealing with Debt

      Bill payer services, or debt consolidation services, can help consumers preserve their credit scores by merging debts and establishing a workable schedule to pay down money owed to creditors through a single monthly payment.

    • Buying A Car

      It's important to know how to make a smart deal. Your credit union can discuss car loan options with you.

    • Paying off Credit Cards

      Read your statement carefully for information about how long it would take to pay off your account balance if you only pay the minimum payment. It can take years, even decades, to pay it off.

    • Home Ownership and Mortgage Options

      Once you are ready to buy a home, consult your credit union about competitive interest rates and to find out about your mortgage options, including the term of the loan and the conditions.

    • Mortgage Modifications

      NCUA encourages credit unions to work constructively with residential mortgage borrowers who may be unable to meet their contractual payment obligations.

    • Preparing for Retirement

      Between longer life expectancies and fewer employers offering traditional pension plans, it’s a good idea to take an active role in planning for retirement.

    • Saving for College

      Whether you are saving for your own education or for your children’s, it’s wise to start planning for college as soon as possible.

    • Short Term Loans

      Payday loans (a.k.a. deferred advance loans, cash advance loans, check advance loans, post-dated check loans, or deferred deposit check loans) are loans borrowers promise to repay from their next paycheck or salary deposit.

Pocket Cents
  • Youth

    Have you ever thought about why money is worth anything? It's just paper and ink, or a small piece of stamped metal. To do a lot of things we need to use money. Money can give you choices and independence. Have you ever thought about how you could earn your own money? Or, how much money you should you save? The way you manage your money could determine if are able to buy food, a movie ticket, a pair of jeans, just about everything. Learn about the history of money, why we use it, how to save it, and how to protect it.

  • Teens and Tweens

    You may be thinking about your first checking or savings account, your first job, or even your first car. Soon, you will have the opportunity to pursue your dreams. You could go to college, launch your career, or start a business. No matter what you decide, you will need money to make it happen. It's never too early to learn smart financial habits. Whether saving a portion of a weekly allowance or understanding the deductions on the pay stub from a first job, good money management skills can last a lifetime. In this section, you will not only learn how to prepare financially for life after high school, but also how to avoid scams and common money mistakes.

  • Young Adults

    Are you prepared to make wise and informed financial decisions? Do you know how to recognize predatory credit offers? Can you balance a checkbook? Do you have a savings plan? Smart financial choices you make today could help you can achieve that new car purchase, or sail through an apartment lease or mortgage application. However, money mistakes when you're just starting out can leave you in debt and ruin your credit score. Learn how to live within a budget, handle credit and debt, and build a solid financial foundation for your future.

  • Parents And Educators

    How do you teach kids about money? It may be as simple as talking about your job, taking a trip to the grocery store, or opening a savings account at a credit union to deposit allowance and birthday money. The bottom line is that it’s never too early to start teaching children smart financial habits and the value of money. Educating, motivating, and empowering kids to become regular savers will enable them to keep more of the money they earn. Whether at home or in the classroom, this section will provide you with the tools and resources to teach kids how to grow into financially responsible adults. The reward could mean a life free from the anxieties of debt.

  • Seniors

    Did you know that seniors account for almost 30% of all fraud victims? Whether you are looking for information for yourself or for a loved one, in this section you will learn how to defend against these scams, as well as, find information on reverse mortgages, prepaid funerals, emergency savings, and long-term care. Additionally, you will find articles that will help with money management, post-retirement planning, and maximizing government benefits.

  • Marriage and Family

    You may have a retirement account. But, do you really know how much you should be saving? Do you budget to save, and not just when you have extra money left over in your paycheck? Have you thought about saving for college? Does your family have an emergency fund? Anyone can learn how to save money and invest in their future. In this section, you will learn how to take control of your financial future, including how to defend against fraud and scams, tips on buying a car or home, how to handle credit and debt, and information about credit reports.

  • Servicemembers

    Are you financially ready? Servicemembers and military families face unique financial challenges, whether on active duty, returning to civilian life, or living as a veteran. In recent years, servicemembers have joined the ranks of those who are considered most vulnerable to predatory lenders and identity theft. Most military families today are not saving adequately for retirement, and many do not have an emergency fund. In this section, you will learn how to protect yourself from financial vulnerabilities, as well as, how to budget, save, and handle debt and credit. Additionally, learn about free financial resources, benefits, and special protections offered by the U.S. government for servicemembers and their families.


Long Term Care

Early planning pays off

It's best to talk about long term care early — before the need for medical or personal care is imminent. Here's help understanding, choosing, and financing long term care.

Long-term care includes a range of health and support services that you may need as you age or if you have a disability. Most of these services are personal care services, such as bathing and dressing. Family members may be able to provide some or all of these services at no charge. But if your care and support needs increase, you may need paid care in addition to the services that your family members provide, or to give them respite. In addition, if your needs increase to the point where you need services in a facility, like a nursing home or assisted living, you may need to plan how to pay for these services.
The cost of long-term care depends on the type and amount of care you need, the provider you use, and where you live. Here are a few examples:

  • Home health and home care services, provided in two-to-four-hour blocks of time referred to as “visits,” are generally more expensive in the evening, on weekends, and on holidays.
  • The costs of services in some community programs, such as adult day service programs, are provided at a per-day rate, but vary based on the program’s activities.
  • Many facility-based programs charge extra for services provided beyond the basic room, food, and housekeeping charges, although some may have “all inclusive” fees.

Note: Medicare and most health insurance plans do not pay for long-term care.

Medicare pays only for time-limited, medically necessary skilled nursing facility care or home health care if you meet certain conditions.

Understanding types of long term care

Understanding the various levels of long term care can help you choose the type that's most appropriate for you or your loved one. For example:

  • Home care. Personal or home health aides can help with bathing, dressing, and other personal needs at home, as well as housekeeping, meals, and shopping. Home health nurses provide basic medical care at home.
  • Day program. Day programs for adults offer social interaction, meals, and activities — often including exercise, games, field trips, art, and music — for adults who don't need round-the-clock care. Some programs provide transportation to and from the care center as well as certain medical services, such as help taking medications or checking blood pressure.
  • Senior housing. Many communities offer rental apartments intended for older adults. Some senior housing facilities offer meals, transportation, housekeeping, and activities.
  • Assisted living. Assisted living facilities have staff members to help with activities such as taking medication, bathing, and dressing — as well as meals, transportation, housekeeping, and social activities. Some assisted living facilities have on-site beauty shops and other amenities.
  • Continuing-care retirement community. Continuing-care retirement communities offer several levels of care in one setting — such as senior housing for those who are healthy, assisted living for those who need help with daily activities, and round-the-clock nursing care for those who are no longer independent. Residents can move among the various levels of care depending on their needs.
  • Nursing home. Nursing homes offer 24-hour nursing care for those recovering from illness or injury and serve as long-term residences for people who are unable to care for themselves. Nursing homes also offer end-of-life care. Services typically include help eating, dressing, bathing, and toileting, as well as wound care and rehabilitative therapy.

 

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Graphic about the average costs for long-term care in the United  States - text equivalent also provided  

 

The average costs for long-term care in the United States (in 2010) are:

  • $205 per day or $6,235 per month for a semi-private room in a nursing home
  • $229 per day or $6,965 per month for a private room in a nursing home
  • $3,293 per month for care in an assisted living facility (for a one-bedroom unit)
  • $21 per hour for a home health aide
  • $19 per hour for homemaker services
  • $67 per day for services in an adult day health care center
 

Choosing the right long term care facility

Selecting a long term care facility can be overwhelming. Ask yourself these questions to ease the process:

  • What level of service do you need? Do you or does your loved one need help with everyday activities, such as getting dressed or walking to the bathroom? Nursing care? What does the doctor say? Determining specific care needs can help you decide which type of facilities to consider.
  • What are your personal preferences? Would you or your loved one prefer a smaller facility or certain living arrangements, such as a single room? Would you rather eat your meals in a cafeteria setting or in your own room? What amenities are most important? Also consider the rules. Can residents choose when to get up and go to bed? When are visitors allowed? What social activities are offered? Can residents continue to see their personal doctors?
  • What can you afford? Get the details on prices, fees, and services. Know what's included in the monthly fee and what costs extra.
  • What's available close to home? Being close to friends and family can ease the transition to long term care. If vacancies are an issue, ask about waiting lists.
  • What's your first impression? Schedule a tour of the facility. Does the facility seem safe? Does it smell OK? Is the temperature comfortable? Are the residents treated respectfully? Do they seem happy? Are there enough caregivers on staff? What are the rooms like? Later, make unscheduled visits to make sure your first impression was accurate.
  • How does the facility compare with others? What have you heard about the facility? Contact the Better Business Bureau to check whether any complaints have been filed against the facility, and use online applications such as the Nursing Home Compare tool on the Medicare website.

Ask a long term care ombudsman — an official who investigates complaints against long term care facilities — about the strengths and weaknesses of specific facilities. To find a local ombudsman, use the Eldercare Locator, an online service of the U.S. Administration on Aging.

Discussing long term care with a loved one

If you're researching long term care options for a parent or other loved one, include your loved one in the process as much as possible. Consider these tips:

  • Plan ahead. Don't wait until a loved one needs a long term care facility. Start planning early so that you have time to evaluate the options together.
  • Work long term care into everyday conversation. If your mother mentions a problem turning on the faucet, for example, you might ask whether she could use help bathing or managing other aspects of personal care.
  • Listen to your loved one's preferences and concerns. If your loved one is mentally competent, recognize his or her right to make decisions about long term care. Stay positive as you remind your loved one that his or her safety is your primary concern.
  • Involve others. If your loved one doesn't respond well to your efforts to talk about long term care, involve trusted contacts — such as other loved ones, clergy, a doctor, or an attorney.

Who Pays for LTC Services?

If you have enough income and savings, you will likely need to pay for long-term care services on your own, from your income, savings, and possibly from the equity in your home. You can also purchase long-term care insurance to cover your personal care needs.

Three main government programs might help you pay for services if you meet their rules, though these programs cover limited numbers of people.

Medicaid
Medicaid may pay for your care if you qualify based on your level of need or disability (also called “functional eligibility”) and have limited savings, or if you use up your savings paying for long-term care services yourself.

The Older Americans Act
The Older Americans Act may also help you to pay for some long-term care services.

Department of Veterans Affairs
If you are a Veteran, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may provide some long-term care services.

State programs
In addition, some states offer their own programs to cover some long-term care services.
You may use a variety of payment sources, some from public programs and others from private insurance, or from your own income and savings as your care needs and financial circumstances change.

Many people think Medicare or their regular health care insurance from their employer that covers hospital stays and doctor visits will pay for long-term care. Health care insurance and Medicare may pay for your care if you need skilled care or care for a short time to recover from an illness or injury. They do not cover ongoing personal care needs, like help with bathing and dressing.

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Graphic about Coverage Limits of Long-Term Care Offered by Health Insurance - text equivalent also provided  

 

Coverage Limits of Long-Term Care Offered by Health Insurance

Long-Term Care Service Medicare Medigap Insurance Private Health Insurance
Overview Limited coverage for nursing home care following a hospital stay and home health if you require a nurse or other skilled provider. Insurance purchased to cover Medicare cost sharing. Varies, but generally only covers services for a short time following a hospital stay, surgery or while recovering from an injury.
Nursing home care Pays in full for days 1–20 if you are in a Skilled Nursing Facility following a recent 3-day hospital stay.

If your need for skilled care continues, may pay for the difference between the total daily cost and your copayment of $137.50 per day for days 21-100. After day 100 does not pay.
May cover the $137.50 per day copayment if your nursing home stay meets all other Medicare requirements. Varies, but limited.
Assisted living facility (and similar facility options) Does not pay. Does not pay. Does not pay.
Continuing Care retirement community Does not pay. Does not pay. Does not pay.
Adult day services Not covered. Not covered. Not covered.
Home health and personal care Limited to reasonable, necessary part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care and home health aide services, some therapies if a doctor orders them, and a Medicare-certified home health agency provides them.

Does not pay for on-going personal care or only help with Activities of Daily Living (also called “custodial care”).
Not covered under current policies.

Some policies sold prior to 2009 offered an at-home recovery benefit that pays up to $1,600 per year for short-term at-home assistance with activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, etc.) for those recovering from an illness, injury, or surgery.
Varies, but limited.

          Courtesy of www.longtermcare.gov       


 

Additional Articles:

Use the resources below to find more information about long-term care insurance:



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