What You Should Know
The median age of the United States population is at an all-time high. Adults over the age of 65 have surpassed the number of teenagers, and people in their 50s and 60s can expect to live longer than previous generations. As life expectancy continues to rise in the U.S., more and more Americans between the ages of 40 and 84, especially those in their mid 50s, are preparing for their golden years by purchasing long-term care insurance.
According to some estimates, long-term care policies cost Americans, on average, $888 per year at age 50, $1,850 per year at age 65, and $5,880 per year at age 75. On a national average, nursing home care costs more than $51,000 a year. With costs rising with age, it is important for consumers to fully understand long-term care insurance and when it should be purchased to best prepare them for the future.
How Much In Benefits Will The Policy Pay
The benefit amount usually is a daily benefit ranging from $50 to $250 per day. You may choose a benefit period that is a specific number of days, months or years. A maximum benefit period may range from one year to the remainder of your lifetime. It is important to ask the person selling the policy if the benefit amounts will increase with inflation and if that coverage increases your premium.
Best For Easy Benefits Payout: Brighthouse Financial
- No. of Policy Types: 1
- Coverage Limit: $250,000
The company is best for easy benefits payouts because it doesnt require receipts and dependents can receive payouts.
Need to contact agent for plan specifics
Dating back to 1863, originally as part of Travelers Insurance Company, Brighthouse Financial has over two million customers and a A rating from AM Best. The company’s hybrid life insurance and long-term care insurance plan offers customers LTC coverage if needed or dependents can receive a payout. A unique feature of this plan is the option to link it to the market indicesgiving customers the chance to grow LTC benefits, with built-in protection during economic downturns and the option to lock in the value at any time.
Because the plan doesn’t require customers to provide receipts or track expenses, this is a no-hassle option for receiving benefit payments which is why it gets our nod as best for easy benefits payout. Customers can also take a loan against the policy at any time and surrender the policy for its full cash value at any time.
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When To Buy Long Term Care Insurance
Like most advisers, we recommend buying long term care insurance in your fifties or early sixties. The primary reasons for this recommendation are:
- The younger you are when you buy a policy, the lower the annual premiums.
- Even though youll pay premiums a longer period of time, youll typically pay less overall than someone buying at an older age.
So it almost never pays to wait. And, while youre waiting, youre uninsured. If an accident or illness happens causing you to need long-term care, youll have to pay out of pocket.
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Up To 30% Spousal/partner Discount Up To 15% Preferred Health Discount Up To 15% Preferred Health Discount
Long term care insurance cost varies greatly. The estimated rates you could get from one insurance provider can be significantly higher than the other. So, it really pays to shop around first before making a purchase.
The best thing you can do is request for a long term care insurance quote, compare estimate costs and choose what you think will be best for your long term care needs in the future.
Who Should Consider Long
Because health insurance does not cover most costs of aging, youll want to make other plans as early as possible. One option is long-term care insurance. This is a good thing to consider for two main reasons: 1. You wont have to rely only on your savings and 2. It can help maintain your dignity.
Lets look at each reason.
First, it will protect your assets. You wont drain your savings paying for care. If you have a spouse who is healthy and children youd like to leave money to, you may want to consider this so that they are set up financially. But if youre single and dont need to worry about spending down your savings, then paying out of pocket may be better than spending the money on an insurance policy.
Secondly, we all want to live with dignity. You want to live your remaining years in a place of your choosing where you are comfortable and happy, not a place where youre sent because its all you can afford.
Long-term care is expensive, so having the foresight to take out a policy while youre youngmeaning in your 40s or 50sso you can pay it off over, say, 20 years will make it easier on your financial plan.
In general, long-term care insurance is a good option for most people. The only exceptions are those with too little money to afford the premiums and those so independently wealthy that paying for care out of pocket is not an issue. So deciding if a policy is best for you is something to consider carefully and, ideally, with a fiduciary financial advisor.
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What To Do In Your 40 And 50s To Plan For Healthcare Costs In Retirement
Retirement might still feel a long way off in your 40s and 50s, but that day is going to arrive faster than you think. And the time to prepare financially and physically is now, not later.
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While retirement advice often focuses on finances, adults also need to make plans for healthcare costs, since older age is when people are more likely to need these services. Here we get expert takes on the best strategies for preparing for retirement healthcare costs early.
Spending Down To Medicaid
Individuals without much money in savings and who face catastrophic long-term care costs that will wipe out their savings could end up depending on Medicaid. An elder law attorney can help to protect at least some assets for spouses. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys can help you with a referral.
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What Other Factors Affect Long
Many factors play a role in the overall costs associated with long-term care coverage, which makes it hard to know what youll pay until you ask for a quote. Keep in mind that the costs associated with this type of care range widely. The type of coverage and your location are important variables. Gender, marital status and provider are the other factors that matter most.
- Gender: Women pay more
- Women tend to have a higher premium cost for long-term care insurance. Thats because women typically live longer. As a result, they may need to use their insurance for a longer period of time than men do. Long-term care insurance claims are more common among women than men.
- Carrier policies: Rates vary by provider
- Every carrier sets its own rates for long-term care policies, creating a large range of rates among providers, based in part on the cost of care in each location and the policy coverage. The best long-term care insurance companies are upfront about both their rates and the factors that play a role in their costs.
What Does Aarps Long
The calculator helps families compute the costs of long-term care. It estimates the cost in your area for nursing homes. It provides prices for assisted living facilities. Finally, it measures the costs of services that allow older adults to age in their own homes, via adult day care and with home health aides and homemaker services.
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Do Veterans Benefits Cover Long
If you are a U.S. military veteran you may also qualify for long-term care coverage through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA offers multiple LTC options, including:
- Long-term care services for veterans with service-related disabilities
- Long-term care services for veterans who cant pay the costs of necessary care
- A cash-allowance program for veterans with disabilities to pay for HCBS
- A flexible budget-based LTC services program called, Veteran Directed Home and Community Based Services , for veterans of all ages
Ltci In The United States
Some 7 million individuals have some form of long-term care insurance. The vast majority have what is referred to as traditional, or health-based, LTC insurance. The opposite is true for new policy sales. Some 350,000 new policies are sold each year with 84 percent being linked-benefit or life insurance policies that include a LTC benefit.
In the U.S., the nation’s long-term care insurance companies paid out a record $11 billion in claims in 2019 to some 310,000 policyholders.
A new study projects that the lifetime chance of long-term care insurance policy usage. Someone purchasing coverage at age 65 has a 50% likelihood of using their policy benefits, especially when there is no elimination period for home care benefits.
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How To Buy Long
You can purchase long-term care insurance directly from carriers or through a sales agent. The agent can help you shop around for comparable rates. This professional can also help you understand how different policies work and what they offer.
Also, you may be able to get long-term care insurance through your employer. Some allow you to purchase policies at discounted group rates. However, you should get quotes from multiple insurance companies. In some cases, you may find better rates for more suitable policies that arent through your employer.
Take Care Of Your Health Now
Taking care of your health now is an investment in your future that could save you on healthcare costs. David Edmisten, CFP, and founder of Next Phase Financial Planning, LLC, said, Middle aged people should consider the current state of their health and their family medical history. Are there chronic health issues that need specific care? Are there common health issues in the family that could materialize later in life? Middle aged people should also consider how they prefer to manage their healthcare and lifestyle choices. Are there changes in diet, exercise or personal wellness that could prevent or reduce healthcare costs in the future? By maximizing healthy lifestyle changes now, one can potentially decrease their annual healthcare costs in retirement.
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Healthcare costs make up 9% to 14% of the average older households spending, a significant expense in retirement, Edmisten said. Reviewing their current health status, making healthy lifestyle changes, budgeting for expected health costs, considering health coverage options before Medicare and evaluating savings options like a health savings account can all help a middle-aged person plan effectively for health costs in retirement, he said.
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How Much Does Long Term Care Insurance Cost Is It Worth It
Insurance can be a fantastic way to protect your assets from big unforeseen costs. Long term care insurance can, in theory, be a cost effective way to cover a long term care need. However, it can also be expensive and not best for everyone. So, let us explore: How much does long term care insurance cost? And, is it really worth it?
Tax Advantages Of Buying Long
Long-term care insurance can have some tax advantages if you itemize deductions, especially as you get older. Federal and some state tax codes let you count part or all of long-term care insurance premiums as medical expenses, which are tax deductible if they meet a certain threshold. The limits for the amount of premiums you can deduct increase with your age.
2021 federal tax deductible limits for long-term care insurance
Age at the end of the year
Maximum deductible premium
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Why Seek An Independent Insurance Agent
The best possible person for you to get your long-term care insurance from is your independent insurance agent. There are a number of reasons, including:
- They work with multiple insurance companies.
- They work for you on your behalf, not for the insurance companies.
- They are local and involved in your community.
- They love what they do.
- They dont keep regular hours most of the time and can be available outside of your typical 9 to 5.
- They educate you.
- They are knowledgeable.
The list goes on. There are some solid reasons above, and thats not even half of them. So why wouldn’t you give one a call?
©2022, Consumer Agent Portal, LLC. All rights reserved.
Elder Law Answers. June 14th, 2018. Hybrid Policies Allow You to Have Your Long-Term Care Insurance Cake and Eat it, Too. https://www.elderlawanswers.com/hybrid-policies-allow-you-to-have-your-long-term-care-insurance-cake-and-eat-it-too-15541
Checklist And Counseling Information:
Long term care insurance agents are required to leave a number of documents with you when they sell a long-term care insurance policy.
Among the items you should get is a copy of a “Personal Worksheet” that helps you understand some of the issues related to purchasing long-term care insurance and the name, address, and local phone number of the HICAP office nearest you where you can receive, free of charge, information and counseling about long-term care insurance.
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How To Lower The Cost Of Long Term Care Insurance For A 65 Year Old
#2 Extend the Waiting Period
Ive quoted a 90-day waiting period above, but many policies will allow you to extend that to 6 months to a year.
If you can sustain 6 months to a year of nursing home/assisted living costs, this might be a great option for you. For example, say youre 66 years old right now and as of today, you qualify for the long term care insurance to kick in, but youve selected a 1-year elimination period. You will need to cover the costs of your care for 1 year before the insurance benefit begins paying you.
The Best Age To Consider Purchasing Ltc Insurance
While the best age to consider getting LTC insurance is your mid-50s, its not that simple. Most people in their mid-50s are well aware that their health only deteriorates from that point on.
Insurance providers offer policies and premiums on discounts to people in good health. The better your health is, the more affordable the policy youll get. While those discounts are fixed and locked in, they do not change if your health changes.
However, each insurance provider has unique requirements, which differ from person to person depending on their health condition, including but not limited to, any medications they may be taking.
Your age is also a big determinant of how much your policy is going to cost. The healthier you are, the more affordable the cost of your LTC insurance will be. There is typically a relationship between age and health condition.
As you grow older, the chance to qualify decreases:
- Ages 40 to 49: 62.0%
- Ages 50 to 59: 46.0%
- Ages 60 to 69: 38.0%
Insurers view certain health conditions as a higher risk, which is why they charge more. Older people are riskier and may not qualify due to existing health conditions. Lets look at an example to explain why waiting too long doesnt pay.
If you consider that the rates will also rise over ten years, its not hard to conclude that its better and more affordable to buy LTC insurance in your mid-50s.
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Why Wouldn’t You Just Invest That $110000 Instead
Thats a good thought, or is it? While that seems like a perfectly legitimate alternative, let’s explain why you might want to reconsider. Let’s say you took that same $110,000 and instead invested it, with an average growth rate of 5%. It would take you 28 years to reach the benefits that the hybrid long-term care policy would already pay out from inception.
These are all things to think about and discuss with your local independent insurance agent.
What Other Options Are There?
Choice, choices. There is an alternative to the hybrid that is usually less expensive, and it’s a traditional long-term care policy. A traditional long-term care policy, is well, traditional. You pay in a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual premium for the life of the policy, and if you need long-term care at some point, then your benefits kick in.
There are a number of trade-offs between a hybrid and traditional policy, so let’s check out some of these differences below:
- Has a cash value and death benefit most of the time.
- Can be paid up front and most of the time is required.
- You can get your premium back if you change your mind.
- Typically not tax-deductible.
- Pay-as-you-go policy, and typically more cost-effective.
- No cash value option, and you do not get the premium back if your policy lapses.
- Tax-qualified plans can be tax-deductible over 10% of adjusted gross income for regular employees and up to 100% for self-employed individuals.