As the go-to online long-term care (LTC) information site, our specialists often get asked what is the best age to purchase long term care insurance (LTCI). Ideally, we’d all just purchase it the day before we needed it, pay for it the least amount of time and get the benefit right away. If you look to various “experts” you’ll find various answers. Suze Orman says late 40s to 50s, CNN Money says late 50s, Dave Ramsey says 60, and AARP says 60 to 65. It’s not an exact science, so at LTC Consumer, we consider three things when giving people advice on when to purchase LTCI: age, health, and wealth.
Age – How old are you?
The younger you are, the more likely you are to qualify for LTCI. Plus, premiums are partially based on your age, so the younger you are, the cheaper your payments will be. We find that landmark birthdays like your 50th or 55th are the best time to look into LTCI. You don’t want to purchase too young, because then you could pay for an unnecessary length of time. But you also don’t want to wait until it’s too late.
If your parents or elderly relatives are older, but still relatively healthy, they may want to look into some sort of coverage as well. LTC Consumer specialists offer short term care, long term care, and several hybrid life and annuity products. We always like to remind people that some coverage is better than nothing. And family members will most likely agree when they are able to hire professional help to provide care later on.
Health – How healthy are you?
Preexisting conditions could exclude you from LTCI coverage. So the healthier you are, the more likely you are to health-qualify for LTCI. Generally speaking, the older we get, the less healthy we tend to be. You can’t purchase homeowner’s insurance when your house is on fire, and you can’t purchase LTCI if you’ve been diagnosed with Dementia or are actively battling cancer.
"You can’t purchase homeowner’s insurance when your house is on fire, and you can’t purchase LTCI if you’ve been diagnosed with Dementia or are actively battling cancer."
We also might suggest that you take a look at family history. How old are your parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents? How is their health? How much assistance do they require? At what age did they start needing assistance? These are all things to consider.
Wealth – What’s your financial situation?
If you are considered wealthy, you probably do not need LTCI, as you can most likely self-insure. If you have very little income and savings, you may qualify for Medicaid when you get older. If you’re somewhere in the middle, then LTCI could be an excellent safety net for you and your family.
If you or your loved ones are interested in finding out more information about LTCI, talk to a specialist and get a free quote. Find out if LTCI is something you qualify for, and if it’s something that makes sense for your retirement plan. At LTC Consumer we believe in educating, not pressuring, and we’re here to answer any and all of your LTCI questions.