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Long-term care insurance moves to make before you turn 65

There are a few smart long-term care insurance moves you should make before you turn 65.  Maskot

Are you nearing 65 years-old and starting to consider your plan for long-term care? Services like nursing homes and home health aides don't come cheap. They can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year, or more. For a retiree on a fixed income, that can be a debilitating expense. 

But long-term care insurance can help. 

This type of insurance simplifies the process of planning for the high cost of your care in the future. Not only can long-term care insurance cover formal caregiving services (like nursing homes and home health aides), it can also offer a means of financial support for your loved ones who provide your care. And, long-term care insurance may even help with accessibility-related home renovations. 

But, if you're close to 65 years-old, it's important to start your search for long-term care insurance now. And, there are a few wise moves you can make to ensure that you purchase the policy that best meets your needs

Compare your long-term care coverage options today

Long-term care insurance moves to make before you turn 65

"Long-term care insurance is crucial for securing your financial future, especially as you age," explains Justin Stivers, financial advisor and founding attorney at the elder and estate planning law firm, Stivers Law. Here are four smart long-term care insurance moves you should make before you turn 65: 

Plan your care

It's important to create a care plan before you purchase a long-term care insurance policy. That's because there are multiple different types of long-term care. And, each of those care types typically comes with a different price tag. For example, if you plan on aging in a nursing home, you could need over $100,000 annually for a private room. On the other hand, an assisted living community or home health aide could cost tens of thousands of dollars less per year. 

That's a significant difference in coverage needs, which can have a meaningful impact on your premiums. 

Also, think about aging at home as a potential plan. Though there may be additional costs associated with accessibility-related home renovations (which some policies cover), leaning on family for care from time to time can cut your overall care expenses. Moreover, some policies are designed to help you age at home and may even pay your family caregivers. 

Chat with a long-term care insurance agent about your care plan now

Consider your retirement income 

You may not need long-term care insurance to cover 100% of the cost of your care. If you have retirement income, you may be able to use a portion of that income to reduce your long-term care insurance coverage needs - which may reduce your premiums

So, think about how much your long-term care plan might cost you and how much retirement income you have to cover that cost. Then, use long-term care insurance to fill in the gap between the amount of money you expect your retirement income to provide toward your care and your total care cost. 

Compare your options 

Premiums charged by long-term care insurance companies can vary greatly. So, you should compare your options. Look for providers that offer the type of coverage you want first. For example, if you plan on aging at home, find a few policies that are designed to help you do so. Then compare the cost and features of those policies to find the one that's best for you. 

Purchase your policy now

Finally, purchase your coverage now, before you turn 65. "As you age, health issues may arise that could disqualify you from obtaining coverage or result in higher premiums," says Stivers. "By securing long-term care insurance before turning 65, you're more likely to meet the health qualifications and avoid potential exclusions or limitations."

Purchase your long-term care insurance policy now before it's too late

The bottom line

If you don't already have a plan to pay for your long-term care, it's important to create one before you turn 65. When you do, think of the type of care you want access to, how much that care might cost and how much coverage you need (in addition to any retirement income you can apply toward your cost of care). Then, compare your long-term care insurance options and purchase the policy that you believe best meets your needs

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