Peace of mind comes from planning ahead.
Understanding Long Term Care Insurance
People often misunderstand what long term care is and what the need for long term care can mean for them. When we think of long term care we often think of conditions like strokes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, conditions that are related to getting old or things that are not going to happen for a long time. However the reality is that over 40% of the people needing long term care today are under the age of 65 and receiving care as a result of an accident. To complicate matters, the longer we live, the more people will need long term care services and the high cost of care is getting more costly every year. If you are like most people, you probably have known someone who has needed care in their home, an assisted living facility or Nursing home. Some of us have even been caregivers ourselves for a friend or loved one. Either way, you might be asking yourself how you will handle your own long term care when you need it.
Take a moment and think to yourself. If you suddenly had an accident or illness, what is most important to you? What are you really trying to protect or prevent from happening? Will you turn to your family members or friends for your long term care? What if your care needs go beyond their abilities to actually care for you, whether physically, emotionally or financially? Where do you want your care to be at? How long can you pay from your income or savings before you are broke? If these questions raise concern in your mind, then having a long term care plan in place may make sense for you.
Navigating the waters to determine which type of long term care coverage is best for you can be tough. Today there are so many options available to address this concern. You can go the route of a traditional long term care policy or lean toward an asset-based Hybrid Plan. Every carrier has their own niche and some companies focus on only insuring the healthiest people. This can mean discounted premiums to reward you for your good health. Often 20-30% less than companies that accept individuals with health challenges. Some people want total peace of mind and choose to fully insure for this risk. While others prefer to co-insure and keep premiums lower. Determining when to buy your long term care insurance can be another challenge. One thing to realize is that the sooner you buy, the sooner you lock in your good health and a lower premium. One of the greatest myths surrounding long term care insurance is thinking this is coverage you can buy later, when you are 50, 60 or 70 years old. The truth is that we do not know when our good health will change. We do not have a crystal ball to foresee the future. Long Term Care Insurance is considered suitable to buy if you have at least $50,000 in savings or investments (not counting your home) and can qualify based on your current health.
Things to consider when determining how much coverage you may need:
- What are the average costs of long term care in your area?
- How much are you willing to contribute out of your own income or savings toward this cost of care?
- How much will you need your policy to pay each month to offset the amount in item 2 above?
- How long do you think you will need long term care?
- How many months can you or do you want to pay for the cost of your care before your long term care policy starts paying?
A well designed long term care policy will help you when your need for long term care arrives. Navigate your options by working with an independent and knowledgeable agent who can provide you the information and resources to help you to understand your options and to make the best choices for your long term care protection. Take your important step today towards maintaining your dignity and independence. Secure your future and protect your assets and prevent your loved ones from the unnecessary burdens of long term care.
Starting the long term care conversation is never easy, but is a step in the right direction. Getting the right plan in place is the best solution for you and your family.