Human beings are very, very good at rationalizing their behavior, both before and after it takes place.  Increasingly, many people are hearing about long term care insurance (LTCI), but deciding not to learn more about it, based on anything from a seemingly rational reason to various forms of denial to flat-out refusal to talk about it. Long term care insurance may not turn out to be right for every family – but having a plan for long term care certainly is.

We’ve grouped some of these rationalizations – excuses, really – into a few broad categories.  We’ve provided examples of each, along with a brief rebuttal, and ranked them in decreasing order of validity as we see it. This is only an exercise, and not formal or professional advice, but we think it’s worth sharing with you and your family.

Reason Examples Rebuttal Rank


I’ve got retirement savings and other assets I can use. LTCI is too expensive, and I’d do better investing in something else.

Could be! But are you sure? And things change – if your savings go down and LTC costs go up, what’s your back-up plan?


Adequate Care – My kids will take care of me.

– I’m a vet – the VA will cover me.

– –I can always sell some assets, even all the way down to getting Medicaid.

Do you really want your kids to take care of you?  Are they in a place emotionally and financially to help care for you.  These might sound good now, but people and situations change, and you don’t want to find yourself stranded.

Death with
Dignity, Please
I refuse to go through a long and painful death. I’ll take pills, or use my gun, or move to Oregon first. Easy to say and very hard to do.  Many wonder if this is really the end or what if I get better?  What if your family doesn’t want you to go yet, then what? 3
Won’t Need LTC – I’m in good health, and my family history suggests a long life.

– Poor health and short lives run in my family, so I probably won’t need LTC.

Everyone is healthy until they are not. This is gambling disguised as reasoning.

Procrastination It’s too early. I’m too busy. Plus, I have to talk to my spouse, parents, siblings, children, doctor, lawyer, insurance agent and/or financial advisor first. If you need to talk about it, talk about it. Now. No excuses. You’ll be glad you did, feel better, and ready to make quicker decisions as you go. 5
I’ll win the lottery I will eventually win the lottery and magically all of my troubles will be gone. Believe it or not, this has been said and worse yet believed.  You make up your own mind if this is good advice or not. 6


Agree? Disagree? Hadn’t really thought about it? Feel free to use this exercise to open a dialogue with your loved ones about long term care, and all of the reasons not to not plan for it now.

LTC Consumer
is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can
help them.