Purchasing long-term care insurance is certainly a big investment that many Americans feel is out of their financial reach. There's also the chance that purchasing long-term care insurance will be a waste of money if the progression of your life determines that you never require such care.
However, a substantial portion of the American population will require long-term care in a nursing home or hospice facility at some future point. As such, if long-term care insurance is reasonably affordable for you and your family, you may want to consider it. At the very least, you may want to include some kind of arrangements in your estate plan that will make your transition to long-term care easier for you and your family should it ever become necessary.
The odds you will require long-term care
Approximately a third of Americans will spend some time in long-term care. Whether it's several months as a result of a medical condition or illness or several years as their lives come to a close, there is a 65 percent chance of not needing to go to a nursing home and a 35 percent chance of needing that level of care and other services.
You can certainly play the odds, but -- when it comes to the life's savings and legacy you plan to leave for your family -- are you willing to risk it on such a gamble? Compared to the wealth you've accumulated during your lifetime, which several years of long-term care could quickly wipe out, the investment in long-term care insurance could be one of the best you ever make.
On the flip side, the older you become and the longer you wait to purchase long-term care insurance, the more expensive and unaffordable it will be. Also, in some cases, people suffering from chronic illnesses or who have a predisposition to specific illnesses may not be eligible for such insurance. If you fall into this category, you might want to consider other long-term care planning strategies.
Understand your long-term care planning options
There are many strategies that estate planners can employ for long-term care planning at every stage of life. If you want to feel safer knowing your needs will be met as you age or in the event of a debilitating illness, learn about the long-term care planning options available to you and your family.