Choosing long-term care insurance can be hard for some people, but it's important to decide whether you'll need it or not and, if you do, what you should look for. Here are some tips to start the research.
First of all, you need to be sure that you'll want the care that you'd pay for with long-term care insurance when you're older. For some people, this depends on whether they'll be comfortable with it or not. Others, however, know for sure that they'll need assistance as they grow old.
If you have some kind of physical or mental disability that prevents you or will prevent you from effectively doing some everyday activities, then you may want to consider purchasing long-term care insurance. This way, you'd get assistance on essential tasks like bathing, eating, transferring, and more.
It's also important to know where you'd receive this care, once you've decided to get the insurance. This choice is simply between your own home or a facility, and the answer is very personal. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide where you'd feel more comfortable: at home, in a nursing home, in a hospice, etc.
You should discuss all of this with your family as well. They may be able to add meaningful observations and could even change your mind on some aspects. Even if you've already decided what kind of care you're expecting when you get older, it's always for the best to tell them. Your family's inputs could also help when considering the financial aspects of long-term care insurance.
If you decide to purchase insurance of this type, you'd need to pay a premium for the coverage over time. When the time comes and you need assistance, which could happen or not, depending on your health, the policy you've chosen will pay for or reimburse you for some of the costs you'll have.
As any other payment considered for the long term, this one is an important financial commitment. You should research many different policies, their available features, and their coverage amount. In the end, you should choose the one that'll give you the protection you're looking for, and it's also within your budget.
When is it wise to get long-term care insurance?
This is a task that many people postpone, thinking about how distant it is. The same happens when building a retirement fund: there are many doubts surrounding the question "when do I start?"
Just like any other long-term cost, your wallet needs a heads-up before paying for it. You need to prepare yourself before paying for these costs, or else you risk being unable to make your payments on time, which can negatively affect your credit score.
This said you'll need to create a budget to know that you'll have enough money to pay all your bills with your current income. It's also helpful to plan ahead and see if you can predict possible financial problems. You may realize when inspecting your finances, that you have to save some money before getting long-term care insurance.
That's one of the reasons why it's recommended to start researching and planning these costs while you're in your 30s or 40s. This will give you enough time to set your personal finances in order before including an additional expense, such as the insurance's costs.
Another factor that could affect your choice of an insurance policy is your health. This is why so many people are turned down by different long-term care insurance companies the older they get. It can also affect the costs since younger people usually get lower quotes. A similar thing happens with life insurance.
Usually, it's at your 40s or 50s when you'll be seen as most mature, most financially stable, and least risky in terms of health. That's when you'll surely get the best offers, which is why you should start thinking about this insurance a bit sooner in order to be better prepared.
Once you're ready to search for a policy that fits your needs and wants, consider hiring an independent, licensed agent. They can help you find quotes and fill applications. The key is to research many different companies and find one that you can afford and contains what you were looking for.
Best options for older adults
If you’re older than 60, you shouldn’t think you’re too old to think about your and your family’s future! There are many life insurance companies that accept applications from older adults.
From 60 to 65 you can still apply for a term life policy at Haven Life. It’s an easy procedure that you can do online. Their policy costs are some of the lowest and the time to complete the application can be extended through 4 extra months, even if you submit it on your 65th birthday!
In your early 60s, you can also check State Farm’s offer. They have the possibility to convert a term life insurance policy to a whole life policy. This company’s insurance policies are even renewable until you reach 95.
Keep in mind that once you’re 70, your insurance options are reduced, but not inexistent. The life insurance costs rise when the one applying isn’t in good health or if they’re older than average. Don’t worry! There are still many options to consider.
The companies North American Company for Health and Life Insurance and Mutual of Omaha allow new applicants up to the ages of 75 and 74, respectively. Both have been rated A+ by A.M. Best, which means they are financially stable and trustworthy.
If you’ve already celebrated your 80th birthday, you still have time to get burial-only insurance in many companies, which would help your family once you’ve passed away. However, if you had an insurance policy in North American consider a rider that lets you extend the death benefit up to age 120.
Ideally, you should choose your life insurance policy before you turn 60. There are several options that allow the application of older people, but keep in mind that they’re more expensive because of it.