Why Should You Buy Long Term Care Insurance?
UPDATED: February 24, 2015
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- Long term care is the biggest financial risk you will face in retirement. It has been estimated that between 40 and 50 percent of those who reach the age of 65 (44%, according to a 1997 report from the National Academy on Aging) will spend some time in a nursing home. Most of the others will require long term care of some sort (in-home care, adult day care, assisted living, etc.) as they reach the end of life. Long term care insurance eases that risk.
- Long term care insurance gives you choice. Without it, you may wind up on Medicaid in a shared room in a Medicaid approved nursing home when your assets are used up. That is a less than desirable way to spend your final days, and not all nursing homes take Medicaid patients. In many states, Medicaid does not cover home care or pay for assisted living, so if you wish to stay at home, you may get no help.
- Long term care insurance shows consideration for your spouse. If you are married and need long term care, your spouse may be forced to pay. The cost, if it continues for any length of time, may wipe out your family assets. Long term care insurance eases this problem by leaving your spouse a reasonable legacy.
- If you need long term care, your spouse may choose not to spend money on care and just "tough it out" without bringing in paid help. This can have a devastating effect on the physical and emotional health of the spouse. Long term care insurance allows your spouse the freedom and peace of mind to hire help, as needed, if nothing else just for an occasional break. These breaks may provide your spouse with the physical and emotional strength to live with dignity and grace.
- Long term care insurance relieves children of much of the financial and emotional stress of caring for you if your spouse is not able to do so. If your children have promised to take care of you when the time comes, long term care insurance will make that responsibility easier for them.
- If you are single and a need for long term care arises you have the assurance of knowing that long term care insurance will pay for your needs. You will not be a burden to extended family or friends or a ward of the state.
- If you wish to leave assets when you die, long term care insurance will help preserve those assets from the corrosive cost of long term care.