I think the answer to this question is – it depends. In this post, we’ll break down what long-term care insurance is used for, and whether or not it makes sense for you to consider getting a long-term care insurance policy to cover costs of care as you or your loved one’s get older and into typical retirement years.
First off, long-term care insurance provides benefits to help cover the costs of personal care services associated with what is known as Activities of Daily Living (or ADLs). Examples of typical ADLs are the following:
Bathing or showering
Getting in and out of a chair or bed
Using the bathroom
Typically speaking, when we’re younger, most of us are able to do these activities on our own, with no assistance from anyone. However, if you’ve become injured or ill, or have some other condition that makes it either difficult or impossible to do these things on your own for a prolonged period of time, then you may need some form of long-term care help, be it caretaker supervision, personal care and homemaker services or inpatient care of some kind.
Most people think that this type of care is only needed for people in their 70s, 80s and beyond. But, reality is, having a long-term care event or critical health condition in your life can strike at any time. And if and when that happens, you may need help with these activities of daily living.
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So, How Can You Determine if You Need Long-term Care Insurance?
Well, if you will have help from family or friends with these activities of daily living, then in a sense your cost of care will be free, and shouldn’t cost you any money. However, if you will not or do not have this luxury, or need skilled nursing care, then there will inevitably be a cost for care. When it comes to the costs of care, they are large, and it varies by type of care, and where you will be located. We created some information on this, so you can see what the cost of care is based on where you live.
The average cost of nursing home care in the US was approximately \$108,000 per year in 2021 for a private room in a skilled care facility, which is up over 2% since 2020. With inflation and other economic pressures building, the costs for long-term care services are expected to continue to rise. So, for example, if you were to need long-term care services in an assisted living facility for 5 years, then it could cost you well over $500,000.
If you needed to pay these long-term care costs and had the savings to do so, or were ok with dipping into your retirement fund to pay annual costs of long-term care expenses, then that is an option, but we would recommend discussing this decision with a financial advisor or financial planner.
If you’re not ok with using your savings, or you do not think you’ll have enough savings, then long-term care insurance may be the right option for you.
The monthly premiums for long-term care insurance policies can range from as low as $100 a month up to several hundred a month, or even more. If you are unfortunate enough to need them, though, the long-term care benefits from a long-term care policy can exceed this cost many times over.
The annual premium rates for individual policies will vary depending on what cover and riders (add-ons) you decide to take out, as well as your health history etc., but one of our qualified long-term care insurance agents can explain all this for you. We’ve also built a long-term care needs calculator to help you better understand how much long term care will cost you.
Sure, here at Policysolver we sell long-term care insurance, and we endorse this as a power financial vehicle to help offset the high costs of long-term care. But, we also know it’s not for everyone. So, as you think about long-term care planning, check out some of the resources on our site outlined above, or feel free to reach out and let us know by scheduling an appointment. Or, feel free to email me directly at email@example.com. My team and I are happy to help even if you don’t end up getting a long-term care insurance policy.