I have a good number of clients who are in their mid-50s, and hearing from friends and colleagues that they should consider obtaining long term care insurance. They’ll often quote stats about the staggering percentage of us who will need long term care services at some point in our lives, or the mention the high cost of services.
These are valid points. But there are equally valid reasons NOT to obtain a policy. I’ve written on long term care insurance in the past, and how to determine whether you’re a good candidate for it. Since this is a topic that comes up in my practice with some frequency, I thought I’d devote another post to the top arguments for and against long term care insurance. If you’re reviewing your own situation and wondering whether to obtain coverage, you should consider these six points.
Let’s start with the top arguments FOR obtaining long term care insurance:
1) There’s a Good Chance You’ll Need Care at Some Point
Long term care services are described (in insurance policies) as requiring help in two of six “activities of daily living”. The six activities are:
- Getting on and off the toilet
- Getting in and out of bed or a chair
- Maintaining continence
Needing help with two of these six activities is a triggering event for long term care policies. Policyholders in this situation can make claims on their policies.
The stats say that 68% of us will require long term care (needing help in two of the six areas) at some point in our lives. This is a staggering number. And with longevity rising around the world, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that number climb over the next 20-30 years.
While not everyone will need help for a long period of time (many will only need some assistance for a couple weeks, maybe after recovering from surgery) chances are pretty good you’ll need a hand at some point. Rather than relying on family or friends, long term care policies can pay for professional help in your home or a stay in a facility.