Maybe you’re one of a growing number of Americans who’ve heard about long-term care insurance but you don’t think it’s necessary for you just yet. You might be in your late 40’s, 50’s, or early 60’s. You’re still a few years away from retirement, so maybe you don’t consider this something to look into just yet.
So, the question is whether or not it’s fine to wait until you reach retirement age to look into long-term care insurance. One of the primary reasons people ask this question is because they feel getting a policy too early will be a “waste of money.”
Consider the risk factors.
The overwhelming predominant age for people who depend on long-term care is in their 70’s and 80’s. If you’re not even in your 60’s yet, why would you even need to consider long-term care insurance? After all, wouldn’t your regular health insurance provider cover it?
In most cases, no. Most health insurance providers will only cover short-term care, such as for a couple of months outside of a hospital setting. If you suffer a heart attack or stroke, are involved in a car accident, or some other incident where you need regular, ongoing long-term care, you would likely be responsible for those expenses out of your own pocket.
If you’re working full-time, not only do you run the risk of not being able to work, exhausting all of your vacation and sick time in the process, but you would have to pay for that nursing home care yourself.
What happens if you wait for retirement?
If you believe that carrying a long-term care insurance policy in your 50’s or early 60’s is not necessary, you might be surprised when you reach retirement age and finally begin looking into this type of coverage only to discover you can’t find coverage.
While it’s certainly possible for somebody in their late 60’s to qualify for long-term care insurance, health, family history of health issues, and numerous other factors, including the type of employment you had, could all be factors that cause you to be denied a policy.
Also keep in mind the longer you wait, the more a policy is going to cost as far as a monthly premium is concerned. For example (and these examples are not a quote in any way, shape, or form), a person in their mid to late 40’s might be able to obtain a long-term care insurance policy for less than $100 a month. Somebody who is 62 might pay $250 or more per month.
There earlier you start, the more affordable the policy will be and the more protection you give yourself and your family to keep from using your savings and other assets in the event you need long-term care.