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Thread: Long term care insurance

  1. #1
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    Long term care insurance

    I had a meeting with an agent about long term care insurance and my head is spinning. I would love to have a policy for my and my spouse, but it is very expensive and we have limited income.

    Does anyone here have a long term care policy? Any alternate suggestions?

    We have health, life, home and auto insurance and it kills me to have to pay premiums on another form of insurance. I would rather spend what little is left after paying bills on travel.

    Any frugal suggestions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Why do you have life insurance? Is it on both of you? Does that really make sense? We have never had life i surance, but then, each of us could always support ourselves financially if the other one dies.

    But to the topic at hand, what are the scenarios in which you will use long term care insurance? I think you are around my age and it is prohibitively expensive now.

  3. #3
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    LTC insurance as with any other insurance should be evaluated very carefully and NEVER with an insurance agent who relies on selling for income.
    Insurance is set up to make the insurance company money. That is the reality. What are the benefits for you that you can find helpful.

    Perhaps others on this site could suggest an objective source of information of the situation in the US. What I have heard and read is that LTC insurance rarely helps. Put the money that you would pay to an insurance plan into a special fund is one possibility where you retain control and access.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  4. #4
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    There is a risk that one or both spouses will be in need of long-term care, in case of dementia or other debilitating conditions. LTC insurance transfers the financial risk of paying for care to an insurance company... on terms that are set in advance by the company, with a profit motive in mind. Some folks balk at the power and information imbalance between a customer and an insurance company, and the alternative I can see is to retain the risk.

    I retain the risk, and in general terms that requires me and my wife to remain physically able (and knowledgeable enough) to be an in-home caregiver with support from a visiting nurse. We need to have some savings that could be tapped to make modifications as may be needed (wheelchair accessibility in the house, customized van, whatever). As circumstances may require, I could also hire a CNA (who is on staff at a local nursing home) to work part-time for us.


    Needing long-term care is a life contingency. It could happen. For age and want, save while ye may. If we come to the end of life without ever being in need of in-home care, the amounts we set aside in savings would be distributed according to the Will of the second to die.


    I estimate $1,016 per month beginning about age 50 would accumulate to $220K in 18 years.

  5. #5
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    I chose to buy long-term care insurance for my husband and I because it gave me peace of mind. I readily admit that this isnít the most frugal decision but it makes me sleep easily at night. After 20 years as a psychiatric nurse, Iíve seen too many destitute older people who have no options left and have to go to the one long-term care situation that will accept them on Medicaid or Medicare. These often are not very good placements.

    Our life insurance is a cheap 20 year term policy that will expire in a couple of years when we each reach age 60. At that point we will not renew it, as it will become very expensive and we are in a much better place financially now than we were 20 years ago.

    This is all about how much risk you can personally tolerate and how much money youíre willing to part with if you canít tolerate the risk.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Why do you have life insurance? Is it on both of you? Does that really make sense? We have never had life i surance, but then, each of us could always support ourselves financially if the other one dies.

    But to the topic at hand, what are the scenarios in which you will use long term care insurance? I think you are around my age and it is prohibitively expensive now.
    My husband has an inexpensive term policy that will expire in about 5 years. It doesn't seem to make sense to drop it now.

    You are correct when you say it is prohibitively expensive. However, my mother had 9 siblings. She and 7 of her siblings had Alzheimers. They all had long, slow deaths in nursing homes.

    If my husband required long term care, I could not adequately care for him due to my arthritis and back problems.

    So ideally, I would like a long term care policy. But I almost fainted when I was given the quote.

    We may need long term care, but we may not. One or both of us could die suddenly. Then all that money we could have used for travel would have been wasted.

    Wish I could predict the future, but none of us have that luxury.

  7. #7
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    I looked into LT care insurance a number of years ago. But when I learned how much it would cost, I did some back-of-the-envelope math and decided that if I just took what they were going to charge me for premiums and put it into an S&P 500 index fund, I'd probably make out better in the long run. The risk was that if I needed LT care in the short term, there wouldn't be much in the fund.

    But that was more than 15 years ago, so it looks like I made the right call. The money I would have paid in premiums has instead gone into building my portfolio. I may yet end up having to spend that money on LT care, but maybe not.

    It's all a crap shoot.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly View Post
    Wish I could predict the future, but none of us have that luxury.
    All of insurance is built on that premise. If I knew I'd be driving around for more than 20 years without an accident, I could have saved a bundle of money. But no one can know that. And darn few of us can self-insure at the needed level at all times. So we guess, based on the best information we have and price the coverage by how much risk we can shoulder ourselves.

    For what it's worth, neither DW nor I have a specific LTC policy. However, my life insurace policy will pay for LTC in lieu of a death benefit. That might apply to your life insurance coverage, too. Might be worth reading your policy or asking your agent about that.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  9. #9
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Neither DH nor I have life insurance. My dear DH, with his wacky way of reasoning financial matters, feels that I should take out a life insurance policy on him, even though he has no income, because he expects to die before me, and he wants to leave me with some money. I am totally against that and I shut that argument down all the time.. I told him I'm not betting on his life and death. Plus to be honest, when he gets a physical for a policy, that policy is going to be pretty darn expensive, and maybe even impossible to get.

    So I tell him that I should be the one getting life insurance for him, because I'm the breadwinner--that's the point of getting life insurance. But he won't accept that either.

    So neither of us has life insurance, but that's OK with me.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  10. #10
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    I am retired and have group life insurance through my previous employer (no premium). My husband has group life insurance through his employer (no premium) but it will end when he no longer works for the company. I have group LTC insurance again through my employer. The yearly premium for the LTC is $297.00 because I took it out at age 49. I don’t know if I will ever use it but I’ve had it 15 years, have paid a total of $4455 which is about Ĺ the monthly cost of a nursing home. I don’t think much about insurances and didn't plan for them, it was just part of my employment benefits back when and continued into retirement.

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