IRAs and 401(k)s most commonly come to mind when thinking about retirement. By diligently saving money during your working years, that savings and Social Security provides you with an income for your retirement. Medicare and supplemental insurance is available to take care of your health needs. However, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, someone turning 65 today (commonly thought of as retirement age) has a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care during their remaining years and, in most instances, Medicare does not provide for long term care.
The federal government projects that 25% of Americans who turn 65 between 2015 and 2019 will need up to approximately 2 years of long term care. 12% will need between 2 and 5 years and 14% will need more than 5 years. Considering the average cost of a private room in a nursing home can be $100,000 a year, neglecting to plan for any long term care needs can be financially catastrophic and quickly burn through any retirement savings you’ve worked so hard to accumulate. Yet almost 2/3 of Americans age 40 and up have done little or no planning for this.
Long term care insurance policies can be essential to helping preserve your retirement assets while providing the care that you may need. While there are several products offered, most will fall under these two types.
Traditional policies: Premiums are paid on a regular basis (similar to auto insurance). However, there is no return of premiums if the coverage remains unused, unless the policy has “return of premium” rider.
Combination or hybrid policies: This is a life insurance or annuity that also has long term care insurance.
There are many different products in the marketplace that can help to assist you with long term care planning. Consulting with an advisor who is familiar with your financial picture and ongoing needs and goals can help guide you as you look into what type of policy might be best for you and protect your assets and financial health during your retirement years.