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Long Term Care Health Insurance: What is the Cost of Not Buying?

No one would dream of trying to purchase car insurance after you have smashed the car, but less than 17% of all eligible people age 50 and over have invested in long term care insurance.

The reasons for neglecting this important piece of senior planning are varied, ranging from misperceptions about it being "too expensive" to a sense of denial about ever "needing" it. After all only about 3% of all seniors over the age of 65 today will ever be in a nursing home.

The reason so few will receive nursing home care is because most people are taken care of at home—at tremendous cost to their loved ones. Caring for an ailing loved one takes an emotional, physical, and financial toll on the care giver. Would you rest easy in your grave if you knew that a daughter or daughter-in-law was herself in need of care after exhausting herself in an attempt to take care of you? If you have not invested in long term care insurance, that's exactly the future you could be setting up for those you love the most.

Long term care insurance is not, as most people think, nursing home insurance. It is a plan for your care in your senior years. Properly worked out, it involves your family and allows you to stay at home, in an assisted living facility, or—if necessary—a nursing home. The plan has to be funded. Since most seniors have other plans for their 401k plans and IRA accounts, insurance is an ideal option. For a fraction of the cost of actually paying for care out of your pocket, you can prepare the way for a company to take over you care when the day comes that you need it. And if you purchase in your 50s, what you will pay in premium for an entire year will be a fraction of the cost of just one month in a nursing home.

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