Long-term care is a complex subject and calculating the cost of care can be a daunting task. A few of the questions that come to mind are:
- How long will I need care for?
- I don’t know what my health will be like in 20 years, how do I know what to purchase?
- What if I buy more than I need; what if I don’t buy enough?
Thankfully, there are answers to all these questions. Obviously there are qualified agents out there who can help you navigate the long-term care landscape. But if you’re anything like me, then you prefer to educate yourself beforehand. First of all, I had to come to grips with the fact that I’m getting older, and like the majority of Americans, will probably need extended care at some point in the future. Studies show that the cost of care is rising, regardless of the kind of care you select. There are a number of different options; homemaker services, home health aids, assisted living communities and nursing homes – with each type suited to different needs and cost structures.
Long-term care insurance can often be the only way to ensure you’ll be able to pay for the kind of care you want, when you need it most. Like most people my age and younger, I thought “I’m still young and in great health – why would I even need long term care insurance?” Particularly, if you are in the upswing of promising career and feel as you have your entire life still ahead of you. That’s certainly an understandable mentality when you have a steady income and a spring in your step – but what about after you retire? Should you require daily care, your hard earned savings could be depleted rapidly without a long term care policy in place. And what if a life-altering illness or accident were to befall you even before you reach your twilight years? At that point it will be too late to protect your nest egg if you were to require life long care.
It’s also important to understand the main factors that determine the cost of a long term care policy. For instance, long term care insurance is lower the younger you purchase a policy. in addition to the type of care you select, location is another cost-determining factor, as the cost of care varies by state. You should determine where you are most likely to receive care, as some states even offer a partnership program (not to be confused with Medicaid or Medicare).
The good news is there are a number of free resources available to help you calculate the cost of care, and utilizing them is the first step in ensuring you are provided for in sickness or in health, whenever you may need it. Educate yourself about your options and then talk with family and loved ones about your hopes and expectations. Once you are able to begin finalizing decisions about your preferred long term care plan, you should speak with a representative who can guide you through the specifics and nuances of various policies. Like anything else, it behooves you to be educated and also shop around until you find a product that best meets your needs.
The preceding post had information provided by Genworth Financial