What you need to know about creating a long-term care plan

Many of us at some point will need long-term care, but it's expensive. You don’t want to drain your savings, so you should consider insurance that will cover this. 

It's easy to put off long-term health insurance because it might feel far off, but it's not. 

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, every day until 2030, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65. And, seven out of 10 of them will require long-term care in their lifetime.

WHAT IS LONG-TERM CARE?

It’s not being able to make your own meals, groom yourself, or perhaps get yourself out of bed. Yes, we traditionally think about our older relatives who may suffer from dementia, but care like this can arise when you're young as well if you get cancer or you're in a car accident.

We talked to financial planning expert Bud Boland of Brightworth who says many believe insurance or Medicare covers this care.

"And that’s generally not what happens at all. These needs are generally not covered by Medicare or traditional health insurance, so you’re left to pay for it out of your own savings if you need it," Boland said.

YOU HAVE TWO CHOICES.

Save the money and earmark it for this potential need or get long-term health insurance. Let’s run the numbers.

Long-term care on average is close to three years. Home care averages $50,000 a year. The same for assisted living. A nursing home, on average, will run $100,000 a year.

Covering this with long-term health insurance is not inexpensive either. The latest data shows a 55-year-old man would pay $1,700 a year for this coverage. The older you get the more expensive it is. Here’s an option if you’re retired and just don’t need as much life insurance any longer.

"What we were able to do, is effectively, convert, what they have in the form of life insurance, covert that into long-term health insurance, what we call a hybrid and turn it into a life insurance and combination policy," said Mr. Boland, a wealth advisor.

You would be using some of the cash value from insurance to use for long-term health coverage. Also ask your employer if their health plan offers a low-cost plan. Many do. 

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