There are two questions I hear the most: How can I make sure I’m not a burden on my family? And if I need long-term care, how do I pay for it without spending everything?
The thought of spending months or years in a “nursing home” fills most people with dread. Not only the humiliation of needing care for your basic needs, but also the costs of paying for that care. And forcing your family to dip into their own savings, retirement funds, or the college fund set aside for your grandkids is… abhorrent.
That’s why investing in Long-Term Care Insurance makes a lot of sense. Long-Term Care Insurance today is about having options. Gone are the days of nursing home only coverage. Now policies will help pay for care at home, in a supportive apartment (like independent or assisted living) or nursing home care.
But navigating the marketplace for any type of insurance is complicated and can be a long, drawn-out, and all-around miserable process. Like you’d rather get a root canal than shop for insurance miserable process! But it doesn’t have to be so hard.
Here are 5 things to think about when buying Long-Term Care Insurance:
- Buy the most insurance you can afford.
This insurance is so you’re not a burden on your family if you need care for the weeks, months, or years at the end of your life – so it’s an important purchase! Most people are buying long-term care insurance while they’re still working. You want to make sure you’re going to be able to continue to afford the premiums after retirement. You don’t want to have to let coverage go because you can no longer afford it just when you’re getting to the point you might need it.
- Don’t buy if it would require you to change your lifestyle!
Yes, this is an important purchase – but if you’re sacrificing your lifestyle (or not paying other monthly bills) now for care later, that’s not a good purchase! Buy as much coverage as you can so long as you can pay for it out of money you’d otherwise save, or savings you can live without.
- Get it sooner – rather than later!
The perfect time to buy is when you’re in your mid 50’s. Premiums increase as you get older. Buying when you’re younger locks in a lower premium. Yes, insurance companies can get rate increases, but the lower you start, the lower they’ll stay over the life of the policy. And if you wait until you cross into your 60s to buy you’ll see much, much higher premiums. The longer you wait, the more you risk being able to get coverage. Certain health events (such as skin or breast cancer) can make premiums astronomical, or make you uninsurable.
- Look for an inflation rider.
$1 in 2017 won’t have the same buying power as $1 in 2037, so look for a plan that carries an inflation rider. Even better, a compound inflation rider (versus simple). It’ll be worth it! You’ll be buying $300 per day of coverage today that will be worth $400 per day later.
- A return of premium rider is great for your heirs.
Shop around to find a policy that allows you to add a return of premium rider, or a hybrid policy that pays off as life or long-term care insurance. This way your premium dollars will return something to your family if you never make a claim.
I don’t sell Long-Term Care insurance – I want to keep my focus on helping you with your Good Guardian Planning needs, like keeping things as simple as possible for your family, or making sure inheritances are protected from creditors and divorcing spouses. I’m a big believer in it though and I’m happy to connect you with a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist.
When you’re shopping for a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, find an agent who specializes in that type of insurance. That person will be an expert – and can help you get the best plan for your needs and your budget. One size does not fit all, and you want to make sure to work with someone who has access to different companies, and therefore lots of different policies.
If you want to talk about how Long-Term Care Insurance fits into your Good Guardian Plan, when it might be a good time to explore the purchase, or just to learn more, let’s hop on the phone and have a chat. APPLY HERE for a Good Guardian Planning Strategy Session, and I’ll be happy to help you figure out your best next step.
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