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How much long term care insurance do I need?

long-term-car-insuranceYou do not necessarily need to purchase a huge amount of long term care insurance, but you will need to know that the average yearly cost for long term care comes in around $73,000. This coverage is important in the case that you are unable to care for your own daily needs.

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Some studies, and some personal finance advisors, suggest that 47% of elderly people will need long term care for less than a year of their lives. If the average costs remains around $200 a day, add up to the $73,000.

While that is a big number, it is not as big of a number as, say, the total you would probably like your life insurance policy to total.

What is long term care insurance?

Long term care insurance is what can help take care of the costs you can incur from nursing home or hospice care costs, live-in nurses or even house cleaning fees that can add up. Long term care is not necessarily for those who have long term or chronic illnesses, but is more for those who need help in their day to day activities, like bathing, dressing, eating, getting in and out of bed or chairs, or using the bathroom.

Long term care insurance pays you (or reimburses you, depending on the kind of policy you get) a fixed daily amount. This money can take care of the cost of room and board at a nursing or assisted living facility. It can also pay for nurses or aides who live with you or visit you on a daily basis.

Why do I need long term care insurance?

Not having long term care insurance (or LTCi, as it is often referred) can end up being devastating to a person’s family, because these kinds of costs can add up. While $73,000 may not exactly seem like a lot to accrue as far as insurance policies go, it can seem impossible for some people’s wallets. Such costs can completely deplete a family’s entire savings.

Also, while 47% is a large number, what about the other 53%? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 34% of elderly people in retirement homes or other facilities stay between one and three years.

Keep in mind, too, that these numbers are only for those in long term care facilities; this number does not necessarily include those who are able to stay at home, but require assistance. They could easily be cared for at home for several years before going to a facility, or they may never go to a facility at all. Yet, they may require assistance with the activities of daily living.

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Additionally, young people should consider long term care, as well. While a majority of people receiving long term care are over the age of 65, about 40% of them are still between the ages of 18 and 64. If a person were to develop early onset Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, he or she may get no assistance with the long term care costs of the disease. Furthermore, it may be incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to get long term care insurance after being diagnosed with the disease.

It is always going to be a little bit of a guessing game.

We are not promised any amount of time on earth. We are also not promised good health. How cautious are you? What do you or your loved ones stand to risk if you were to sudden need long term assistance?

Some advisors will tell you wait until you are 60 to consider purchasing long term care insurance. Others will tell you to start thinking about it when you are 40 or even younger. Still others will tell you to not even worry about it, ever.

What factors should I consider when looking for a long term care insurance policy?

Look into the financial strength of any company you consider. There is a good chance that you may not collect on this policy for 20 or 30 years. Is the company currently strong enough that you feel confident it will still be around in a couple decades? There are several online places where you can pay to get a company’s rating. Look at A.M. Best, Moody’s, Weiss, or Standard and Poor’s. Be very deliberate in deciding from whom you will purchase your policy.

Make sure that your policy is flexible. To claim your benefits, you must need assistance in order to accomplish several daily tasks. Each company requires a different number of these activities. You will want one that does not require more than two of them.

Finally, compare rates and benefits of several policies. The online insurance rates tool on this page is not affiliated with any provider. Use it to get unbiased quotes that will help you make an informed choice.

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