Friday, May 2, 2008

Making the choice to get long-term care insurance

Money Magazine has provided a story on the difficult decision each of us should contemplate on whether or not to get long-term care insurance. The long-term care insurance choice isn't a lay-up like the getting life insurance choice is, where most everyone you speak to will tell you that you need at least some life insurance. Look at some stats from the story:

There's no question that years in a nursing home can decimate your savings. The average facility now costs $213 a day, according to a MetLife survey; based on last year's 3% yearly price increase, by 2030 you can expect to pay $408 a day, or $148,967 a year. For a 2½-year average stay, the tab would be about $372,000.

The chances that you'll need that much care, however, are small. Only 9% of 65-year-olds can expect a lengthy nursing-home stay, according to Milliman (another 18% will need long-term assisted-living care).

Like most other insurances, long-term care insurance gets more expensive as you get older. If you don't get the low rates in your 20s and 30s, it may become prohibitively expensive in your 40s and 50s, as you get closer to the time when you'd need it.