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4 questions about long-term care insurance

No one knows when tragedy will strike, and no one expects to become disabled or incapacitated. However, if something like this happens to you or your spouse -- and long-term care is required -- you will want to be financially prepared. One way that couples prepare for needing long-term care is to purchase insurance that will cover the cost of a nursing home.

If you're in the market for long-term care insurance, you might have the following questions on your mind:

Who needs to purchase long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance might seem expensive, but if you or your spouse ever need to use it, you'll be glad you have it. To think about the chances that you may need this insurance, consider the following statistics. There's a one out of 1,200 chance you'll have a fire in your home. There's a one out of 400 chance you'll get into a car crash. But there's a seven out of 10 chance that you or your spouse will have to live in a nursing home.

When should I purchase long-term care insurance?

The biggest problem with long-term care insurance relates to how expensive it is. There's also the fact that people under the age of 45 and over the age of 84 usually can't buy it. Purchasing long-term care insurance in your 50s means it will cost as little as $30 to $60 monthly. Purchasing it in your 70s means it will cost between $80 and $150 monthly. The earlier you buy the insurance, and the healthier you are when you buy it, the better. If someone is sick already, he or she might not be able to qualify for long-term care insurance.

Where can I purchase long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance is sold by private insurance firms. However, not every insurance company will offer a long-term care policy. It's important to research which insurance companies offer the best prices and have the best reputations.

If you're thinking about long-term care insurance and other estate planning strategies, don't wait until it's too late. Finalize your estate plan now so that you and your family's futures are protected.

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