In this video Matt addresses the growing concern of whether to invest in a long term care policy as part of retirement planning. The discussion revolves around the exponential increase in the cost of these policies over the decades, surpassing other inflation rates. With a focus on the statistic that around two-thirds of individuals will require long-term care, lasting up to several years, the financial implications of such care are highlighted, reaching annual costs of $80,000 to $100,000.
The limited competition in the long-term care insurance market and the potential for premiums to rise with age add complexity to the decision-making process. The importance of determining if self-insuring through personal assets is feasible becomes a pivotal factor in planning for a financially secure retirement amidst escalating long-term care expenses.
Do I Need a Long Term Care Policy?
Long-term care is a topic that often perplexes individuals as they plan for their retirement. It’s a decision that can significantly impact your financial future and overall quality of life in your golden years. In this article, we will delve into the question, “Do I need a long-term care policy?” by considering various aspects of long-term care and the evolving landscape of long-term care insurance.
The Soaring Costs of Long-Term Care
One of the first things to acknowledge when discussing long-term care is the staggering increase in its cost over the decades. To put it into perspective, let’s compare the cost of long-term care to other expenses we encounter in life. While essentials like minimum wage, median income, and even the prices of new cars and homes have all increased over the last 40 to 50 years, none can hold a candle to the astronomical growth in the cost of long-term care.
Long-term care expenses have skyrocketed by almost 2,000 percent compared to the 1970s and 1980s. This exponential surge in costs is a cause for concern, especially for those planning their retirement.
The Prevalence of Long-Term Care Needs
Statistically, around two-thirds of individuals will require some form of long-term care during their lifetime. This care can encompass various services, including assisted living, nursing home care, or home health care. The duration of long-term care varies but can extend from 12 months to as long as 36 months or more. These numbers underscore the significance of considering long-term care in retirement planning.
The Financial Impact
Now, let’s get down to the numbers. The average annual cost for long-term care has surged to approximately $80,000 to $100,000 or more. When you factor in the potential need for one, two, or even three years of care, the financial burden can easily reach upwards of a quarter of a million dollars or more. To ensure a comfortable retirement, it’s crucial to have a plan in place to address these potential expenses.
The Shrinking Long-Term Care Insurance Market
Another factor to consider is the evolution of the long-term care insurance market. Once a diverse landscape with over a hundred carriers, it has now condensed to roughly a dozen providers. This reduced competition has contributed to the sharp increase in long-term care insurance premiums over the years.
Moreover, the premiums for long-term care policies can become quite expensive as you age. Even if you begin in your 50s or 60s, by the time you reach your 70s, 80s, or 90s, the cost can become astronomical. Long-term care insurance providers often send letters offering a choice: accept higher premiums or reduce your policy benefits. This dilemma leaves many individuals reconsidering the value of their long-term care policies precisely when they need them the most.
The Self-Insure vs. Long Term Care Policy Dilemma
The central question that arises is whether you should purchase a long-term care policy or not. As premiums increase with age, it’s essential to evaluate whether you can comfortably self-insure through your accumulated assets. This decision hinges on understanding what your assets can generate for you and whether they can reliably cover potential long-term care expenses over the course of your retirement.
In essence, the answer to whether you need a long-term care policy lies in your financial planning and how effectively your assets can sustain your desired lifestyle during your retirement years. By assessing your financial situation, you can make an informed decision about whether to rely on self-insurance or invest in a long-term care policy.
In conclusion, the decision to purchase a long-term care policy is a critical component of building a robust retirement plan. Given the exorbitant costs associated with long-term care and the changing landscape of insurance providers, it’s essential to evaluate your financial situation thoroughly. By doing so, you can ensure that your retirement nest egg is adequately prepared to provide for your needs, including potential long-term care expenses, in the most crucial years of your life.
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