One of the questions I am most often asked is this one: what is the best age to buy long-term care (LTC) insurance?
A number of years ago Consumer Reports studied this and came up with the following:
While I think this is, for the most part, still true, I have refined my advice to a range from 55 to 65 years old (the younger the better) as the best age to buy. I came to this conclusion partly for the reasons outlined above and because folks in this age range really feel the need to add LTC in order to protect the assets they have worked so hard for: to save them for a comfortable retirement lifestyle and to pass on to their kids and grand kids. Additionally, today there are policies available with guaranteed premiums.
Also according to Consumer Reports Money Advisor “not everyone needs long-term-care insurance: only people with assets between $200,000 and $2 million should be perusing policies. Retirees with assets of $2 million or more should be able to pay for the full cost of care. And those with a net worth below $200,000 to $300,000 (not including a house) won’t be able to comfortably afford pricy premiums and will probably rely on government programs (MediCal, in California) if they need assistance with long-term care coverage.”
I would add another consideration to the above, even people with over $2 million in assets (excluding home equity) want to save money to transfer to children, grandchildren, other heirs, the arts, universities, and charities. Long-term care coverage can do that and even more. There are long-term care policies available now that actually increase the size of the policyholder’s estate if long-term care is never needed.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over 70% of Americans over 65 will need some long-term care services either at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Without long-term care insurance, the last years of life can be financially devastating for seniors and their families.
The good news is that there are a range of LTC coverage products that can lift this burden and allow for aging with more independence and dignity and less reliance on the kindness of family and friends. More information, without cost or obligation, is just a call away.
Please pass this article on to family or friends, especially those in their fifties.