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When it comes to exploring long-term care insurance (LTCI), there are several options to explore, and each policy is different. Not only is there variation amongst what the policies cover themselves, but there is also variation in ways to pay.
In general, the majority of LTCI will begin with at-home visits and then, as age, need, and dependency increase, there will be a transition to eventual full-time nursing care. These policies can include a variety of services, such as occupational and speech therapy, homemaker services, respite care for caregivers, memory care, and assistance with daily tasks such as bathing or dressing.
Should you determine that LCTI is a worthy investment, there are four ways to pay: traditional LTCI policies, personal savings, hybrid policies, and government programs.
Using your own savings certainly provides you with flexibility, but the drawback is that, because your long-term needs are most likely currently unknown, it’s impossible to determine whether your retirement nest egg or savings will last for the duration of your expenses. Traditional policies involve an annual premium, and you choose the coverage and the duration. Government programs, such as Medicaid, may be available to those with low incomes or veterans. Hybrid policies can offer a combination of life insurance with an LTCI rider, or there are even long-term care annuities, which are deferred fixed annuities. Often, annuities won’t cover the whole cost of long-term care, but they can certainly help offset it.
An annuity can provide peace of mind in the event that you live a long life, whereas life insurance can provide peace of mind if you want to pass tax-free process to the next generation. Annuities help to ensure you don’t outlive your assets and that you have the care you need while aging, whereas life insurance provides a source of income for your dependents should you die prematurely or unexpectedly.
It’s important to consider both life insurance and some form of long-term care insurance or annuity when considering your end of life plans. While some choose to rely solely on their retirement savings, exploring other options can help you and your loved ones feel better cared for and prepared for years to come.
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