Times are changing.
Fifty years ago, long-term care insurance wasn't even really
thought of. For one thing, few people lived past their
late 60's and so long-term care wasn't as much the norm as it
is today. The second thing is that extended families
tended to stay closer geographically and so taking care of
senior parents was both possible and expected.
The first thing that you need
to determine is whether you will even need long-term
If you know that you will have
an adequate income stream for the rest of your life that will
cover the costs of nursing homes and personal care, you might
not need insurance coverage. The first rule of insurance
is that you only insure what you cannot afford to pay for in one
If longevity is in your family
and you expect to do the same, you may be more likely to need
long-term care insurance than if your family seldom makes it
past their early 70's or you know yourself to be in poor health.
Always check with your employer
to see if they have a plan. Because these policies are
written in large numbers, you have the benefit of being able to
take advantage of superior buying power. What you want to
make sure of is that you don't lose the right to this policy if
and when you leave your job for another one.
Some employers even kick in on
the costs of long-term insurance. This hasn't always been
this way but employers are now starting to understand that
employees are more interested in long-term security than they
used to be.
relatives routinely live into their 90s and you expect to do
likewise, you may be even more likely to eventually need
long-term care. If you decide to shop for long-term care
insurance, find out first if your employer offers a plan. Often
such policies are available at rates lower than you could find
on your own.
No matter who you buy the
insurance policy from, be sure that you read it carefully before
you commit to anything. Be sure that you understand all
the conditions, exclusions, how much you will pay, and what if
any is the potential for losing your coverage.
Compare different policies
using the questions below. There is no definite right or
wrong but balance these in light of what you know you will
need for your circumstances.