High school sweethearts, Allen and Lynda Striepe were true soul mates. They married, became schoolteachers and were very active in their local church, with Allen serving as a lay minister and Lynda playing the organ.
Through the church, Allen and Lynda got to know Richard Garrett, a minister of music. When Richard later became a licensed insurance professional, his agency was awarded the contract to offer a long-term care product to educators in Allen and Lynda’s school district. When he contacted his friends, then in their mid-50s, they initially felt they were too young to consider long-term care insurance. But their minds changed when Richard explained that 40 percent of all long-term care claims benefit people under 65.
Several months after acquiring their policy, Allen started to forget things. By the beginning of the next school year, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and couldn’t return to work. In fact, he needed a home health aide to assist him so that Lynda could continue to teach. Allen’s long-term care insurance paid for the home care and later, when his condition worsened, covered his stays in an assisted living facility and a nursing home. Pneumonia took Allen’s life less than two years after Alzheimer’s was diagnosed. Lynda says that the disease is like dying two deaths, “First you lose the person you know and love, then you lose them physically.”
Lynda retired at age 60, as planned, and is living the way she always has, “Nothing fancy, but comfortable.” Playing the organ in church, teaching music to children with disabilities and visiting with her family keep her busy. Nothing can make up for Lynda’s personal loss, but long-term care insurance helped ensure that the cost of Allen’s care wouldn’t derail Lynda’s retirement plans.