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Long-term Care-Will you need it?

By Dave Verbeke

Yes. According to the Department of Human Services, 70% of people turning 65 can expect to use some type of long term care (LTC) service during the remaining years of their life. Care could include home care services, home health aide, respite care after a hospital visit, assisted living or memory care. Transitional or progressive senior housing has become the popular choice for care. LTC insurance can be designed to include these types of service to help ease the burden from caregivers.

Transitional senior housing services can progress from $3,000 to over $10,000 per month depending on the level of care provided. The question becomes how to bridge the gap between monthly income from Social Security, pension and other sources and expected costs. LTC insurance is one of the options to help bridge the gap between what you can self-insure from your assets and provide a backup plan to reduce the drain on the money you have left.

LTC insurance has become more costly because people are living longer. The days of unlimited benefit polices are long gone because they aren't affordable. This has caused consumers to abandon LTC insurance completely. What now has become popular and cost effective is to limit the pay out of the policy to a time frame such as 3 years. Average stay for a male is 2 years and 4 years for a female. Insuring for part of the expected cost is a better way to limit your chance of running out of money and providing for the care you need. Ask your advisor if LTC insurance is an option for you.

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