Weekend Reading: Don't Forget to Plan for Long-Term Care

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
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Weekend Reading

The confident, comfortable retirement you deserve includes having a plan for the unexpected.


The reality: According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of those aged 65 and older will require some form of long-term care in the future. When you consider the average cost of a nursing home stay being $300 per day, with the average time spent being two-to-three years, expenses can quickly surmount your life savings. Further, these costs aren’t covered by Medicare and you must meet income limits in order to qualify for Medicaid.

Prep now: The sooner you address and evaluate your potential long-term care needs in retirement, the more likely you are to find favorable coverage options and discounts. A few options to protect yourself include:

📌 Traditional long-term care insurance: Coverage can span far; however, some drawbacks to be aware of are the risk of rising premiums and use-it-or-lose-it features.

📌 Hybrid policies: These help fill the gaps where traditional LTC insurance is lacking. You pair a life insurance policy with a long-term care policy – or, purchase LTC benefits as a rider to a life insurance policy. Additionally, policies provide a death benefit if the coverage isn’t fully utilized.

📌 Limited pay options: In high earning years, another option is to purchase a LTC policy that can be paid off over a specific number of years, after which the payments stop and coverage is guaranteed.

Often, your best-laid retirement plan isn’t the one with many fancy investments and ultra-complicated strategies. Instead, it’s the one where you’ve created a safety net to know you can handle the unexpected, health-related or otherwise.