Why Long-Term Care Insurance Is Hot (Yes, HOT!)

We spend time and money every month to look and feel our best. Hair color, facials, new make-up, “premium” denim, yoga, pilates, gym memberships, marathon training … you get the picture. All this is done to contribute to our well being, our physical and mental state, our confidence.


And confidence, to me, is hot.

Nothing hotter or sexier than an assured man.

We do all this now while we are (ahem) young and healthy. So, what can we do to obtain confidence when we get (ahem) older and eventually are unable to take care of ourselves? Hopefully someone can do our nails, but more importantly, who will take care of us? Our children, our spouses? And, on another note, who will take care of our spouses in the event they cannot take care of themselves? Will you use your retirement money, and if so, will you be able to maintain your confident lifestyle as you deplete it?

Just as we invest in ourselves personally now, we must ensure we invest in ourselves for our future. By doing so, our confidence will not only make us feel hot, but it will also bring us peace, freedom and dignity when we need it the most.

Long-Term care insurance: The new kid on the retirement funding block

When planning for retirement, most of us mix our portfolios with life insurance, individual retirement accounts and mutual funds. Not high on the list: long-term care insurance.

But it should be.

In addition to providing benefits in the event of a chronic illness or injury that result in the need for care, owning such a policy also allows you to have options as to where and how you receive care. Specifically, it helps pay for care that is delivered:

  • in the home
  • in the community
  • in adult day care centers
  • in alternative living facilities
  • in nursing homes

“Long-term care insurance offers a sense of independence—freedom from having to rely on your own assets, your children or the government to pay for care,” says Steven L. Braun, CLU, a financial representative with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.

People rely on long-term care coverage for different reasons. It enables you to transfer some of the financial risk of escalating long-term care costs to your insurance company.

“In exchange for paying premiums, you can save your accumulated wealth while helping to secure your dignity, choice and independence,” Braun says.

My husband and I are only in our 40s, why should we buy long-term care insurance?

According to Braun, there are 3 main reasons you shouldn’t overlook these policies when planning retirement:

  1. Long-term care needs affect more than the elderly. Studies have shown that 37 percent of adult Americans needing long-term care are between the ages of 18 and 64.
  2. There has been a dramatic increase in life expectancy during the last century. Upon reaching age 65, men can expect to live an additional 16.3 years and women, 19.2 years.
  3. We underestimate long-term care expenses. Few people have a realistic idea of the cost of a year-long stay in a nursing home. The average private pay cost of a nursing home was more than $64,000 in 2005. And, it is forecasted that home health and nursing home costs will continue to rise.

As the recession plows along, and we are all concerned about our assets, what has happened to them and what will happen to them, we need to continue to plan for our future. We need to be confident the economy will grow, confident our planning and saving and hard work will pay off and confident we will enter our golden years unafraid of what could happen if we need care.

Planning for this care will give us that confidence now and give us peace, freedom and dignity later.

Want to learn more about long-term care options and long-term care insurance? Visit www.medicare.gov, and go to the long-term care section.