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Long-Term Care

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Long Term Care Insurance Demystified - 
Who Needs It, Who Doesn't and Why

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Caregiver Alert!  Those of us involved in providing care know firsthand the financial challenges of a care situation, yet we tend to perceive ourselves always as the givers of care.We seldom foresee a time when we may also be receivers of care. This may be a big mistake, as statistically, nearly one out of two of us will need long term care at some point. How will our families handle the financial burden if not through insurance?

With proper advance planning, a care situation does not have to bring financial chaos.  Many families want to investigate Long Term Care Insurance (LTCi) as a possible component of their financial plan, yet in-depth information on LTCi can be hard to come by, outside of an insurance office.  Here are basics you can use to begin your education as well as insider tips for smart insurance shoppers.  This information will come in handy when you're ready to move ahead with coverage to protect your family.  You may even want to start a file called "LTCi Planning".

By the time you finish this series, you may be amazed that you can actually get excited about an insurance product.  We think you will find this series helpful in clarifying the issues around an LTCi decision we all face: to buy or not to buy.  Please note that before taking action, it is important to consult a state-licensed professional.  Hopefully with the introduction provided here, you will be better equipped to know what questions to ask and what decisions are the right ones for you.


It is clear that caregiving changes lives. In the mid-1980s, I had to give up a lucrative and fulfilling career as pianist for music legend Boz Skaggs in order to care for family members. My family suffered the consequences of not purchasing LTCi early enough.  With a family history of seven relatives in care situations, the planning need was quite clear. Even with that knowledge, by age 50 my own insurance had not yet been purchased.My own diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis came just one month before insurance was to be set in place.Unfortunately once a documented condition indicates a probable need for care, then it is far too late to enroll. Bottom line: It's never too early. Don't procrastinate.

LTCi policies differ by state, and one must confer with a state-licensed specialist to determine suitability before enrolling. The good news is that the earlier one enrolls, the more affordable it is for the rest of one's life. This is only one way in which LTCi coverage can differ from other forms of insurance.



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