A note from a client thanking me for providing a complimentary long-term care (LTC) insurance policy review prompted me to think how a LTC review would be useful for many others.
Although you may have always figured your nest egg could cover your healthcare costs in retirement, the recession and continued volatility may require a re-evaluation of that assumption. With growth prospects low, LTC insurance may be an attractive risk-reduction strategy. Ironically, however, as consumers’ need for LTC insurance has increased, the recessionary environment has prompted insurance companies to re-assess their own risk levels, making the coverage more difficult and expensive to obtain.
Long-term care refers to the help you receive for a chronic illness, disability, or cognitive impairment that leaves you unable to care for yourself for an extended period of time. These services can be provided in a nursing home, assisted-living facility, or in your own home. Typically not covered by your health insurance, LTC can be expensive. In fact, a recent study by Genworth found average costs to be $74,208 a year, or $203 a day. Of course, these rates vary by region of the country.
So, should you buy LTC insurance and, if so, when? Cost has long been the reason for putting off purchasing LTC insurance until a decade or two before retirement. However, in this financial environment, the reasons for acquiring LTC coverage earlier in your adult life are compelling. In the midst of market uncertainty, adding a LTC policy can provide inflation-adjusted, guaranteed income for your healthcare needs later in life.
If you’re interested in determining if it’s still reasonable for you to self-insure or whether your existing LTC policy still meets your needs, please contact me. The LTC market is in constant flux and our consultant, Allen Hamm, is well-versed in everything from the newest riders to the financial stability of the insurance companies. In addition to ensuring you understand the coverage you are buying, Allen is also available to act as your advocate to protect your rights as a policyholder should you ever have a claim.