Rachel Ehrlich is a 72-year-old widow who has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She has limited financial assets of her own and has been living with her daughter Stephanie for 2 years. Her only income is $800 a month in Social Security survivor’s benefits. Stephanie wants to make sure her mother will be taken care of if Stephanie should die. Stephanie, 40, is single and earns $55,000 a year as a human resources manager for a small manufacturing firm. She owns a condo with a current market value of $95,000 and has a $71,000 mortgage. Other debts include a $2,000 auto loan and $300 in various credit card balances. Her 401(k) plan has a current balance of $32,000, and she keeps $1,500 in a money market account for emergencies. After talking with her mother’s doctor, Stephanie believes that her mother will be able to continue living independently for another 3 years. She estimates that her mother would need about $1,500 a month to cover her living expenses and medical costs during this time. After that, Stephanie’s mother will probably need nursing home care. Stephanie calls several local nursing homes and finds that it will cost about $6,000 a month when her mother enters a nursing home. Her mother’s doctor says it is difficult to estimate her mother’s life expectancy but indicates that with proper care some Alzheimer’s patients can live 10 years after diagnosis. Stephanie also estimates that her personal final expenses would be around $14,000, and she’d like to provide a $15,000 contingency fund that would be used to pay a trusted friend to supervise her mother’s care if Stephanie were no longer alive. Use Worksheet 8.1 to calculate Stephanie’s total life insurance requirements.
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