Do Healthy Individuals Need a Long-Term Care Plan?

Good health does not make you immune from getting older. If you enjoy good health today, it does not mean you will not experience declining health and aging in the future. It does make planning easier. Good health gives you the ability to plan for the costs and burdens of aging.

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Do Healthy Individuals Need a Long-Term Care Plan?
3 Min Read August 25th, 2017 Updated:March 11th, 2022

If you're a member of Generation X (Born 1965 to 1976) or a Late-Boomer (Born 1958 to 1964), the topic of long-term health care has probably come up. These groups have experienced first-hand a family member (parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle) that required help with activities of daily living or needed to be supervised due to cognitive issues like Alzheimer's or dementia. 

When you are in good health, your lifespan becomes longer. Aging itself is a risk of needing long-term health care in the future. We all will see a decline in our health, body, and mind at some point. Aging happens. Good health today allows you the ability to plan for future declining health and the costs and burdens of aging. 

The consequences of long-term health care are tremendous as it impacts both a person's assets and their family. Without advance planning, the family becomes responsible either with caregiving or arranging for care. This burden is demanding as adult children usually have their own families, careers, and responsibilities. Juggling these responsibilities along with being a caregiver is challenging. 

 Today, more people are aware that health insurance or Medicare will not pay for most of these costs. The question of when to plan for the financial costs and burdens of aging is debated. Often a person will say, "I'm young and healthy; I can wait till I am older and need care." However, you have few or no options once you are in poor health. Since people require long-term health care due to illness, accidents, or the impact of aging, the need for care can happen at any time. This is why many experts recommend an advance plan.

I'm in Good Health. Why Would I Need to be Concerned About Long-Term Health Care? | LTC News

Long-Term Care Planning - Part of Overall Retirement Planning

Most people today are planning for long-term care before they retire to take advantage of their good health and the available discounts. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will safeguard your retirement savings (401(k) IRA 403(b)) and other assets while reducing the burdens that are placed on the family, often a daughter or daughter-in-law.

Premiums are based on age at the time of application, your health at that time, and the amount of benefits you are requesting. Not only do you save money when you plan younger, but you also lock in the savings as premiums are intended to remain level based on the age and health when you get a plan in place. You also lock in your good health as the policy can't be canceled or changed once issued. If you get a policy at age 52, for example, you lock in age 52 rates and the health you have at that time no matter how long you live.

Longevity Means Higher Risk of Long-Term Care

Advances in medical science mean more people require long-term health care when they are younger as illnesses and accidents that used to cause the likelihood of death no longer do. However, if you don't die but don't recover, you become a long-term care situation.

Long-term care will impact you, your family, your savings, and your lifestyle. Remember, long-term care is a cash flow problem, but it is also a family problem. Adding a Long-Term Care Insurance policy to your retirement plan will add peace of mind for everyone in your family. Your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of being your caregiver.

Most states also offer partnership plans which provide additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection. Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance plans are one of the best-kept secrets in retirement planning - What is a Long-Term Care Partnership Policy? | LTC News.

Most people obtain coverage in their 50s. There are several options to choose from. A specialist in long-term care planning can help you navigate the many available options and help you select the one that matches your individual situation.

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Understand the facts about Long-Term Care Insurance and the importance of planning for the financial costs and burdens of aging. Protecting savings is important. You want to preserve your lifestyle and legacy. However, planning for long-term care is really about your family. Don't place the full responsibility of your future care on your children. Caregiving is hard and stressful. Plus, paid care is expensive.

Facts about Long-Term Care Insurance

  • Long-Term Care Insurance is custom designed. You get to decide the total amount of coverage. Even a small policy can reduce the stress and burden on your family.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance is affordable, especially if you are under age 65. However, premiums can vary well over 100% or more between insurance companies. A Long-Term Care specialist will shop all the major companies to match you with your age, health, and family history to find you the best value.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance is rate stable. Most states now have rate stabilization rules which make it very difficult to raise premiums in the future. Some companies offer single pay or limited pay options as well, which eliminates the need to keep paying premiums.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance provides tax-free benefits. You might qualify for tax deductions or credits. If you own a Health Savings Account you can use the tax-free money in your account to pay your premium.

Planning Tools and Resources on LTC NEWS

You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan the costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Seek Professional Guidance

Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, insurance companies' premiums vary over 100% for the same coverage.

Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad

Start by reading our guides -  

If they are lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

Get Help in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim

Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care. If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help.

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work, free with no obligation. 

You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

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You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

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