Published by Christina Hester Snyder, Partner and Wealth Advisor
Life expectancies are rising! As a result of advancements in healthcare and medical treatments, we now get to spend even more time with our loved ones. Longer lives also come with extra costs like long-term care expenses. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, two-thirds of people turning 65 will need some type of long-term care as they age.
Planning for long-term care is an increasingly important component of the retirement planning process, and many people are turning to long-term care insurance as a way to build anticipated long-term care expenses into their plans. Here is what you need to know when considering purchasing long-term care insurance.
Standalone Long-Term Care Policies
Long-term care insurance isn’t usually provided by employers, so it’s a type of insurance that most people have to search out and learn about on their own. Long-term care policies have traditionally been expensive, averaging about $2,200 per year in premiums for a man aged 55. These premiums can be in addition to life insurance premiums you already pay.
Standalone long-term care policies are also notoriously complex. Some companies, such as New York Life, are beginning to offer simplified policies. Standalone policies may be good options for those who can afford them, but there are drawbacks to standalone policies, including the risk that you will pay a lifetime of expensive premiums for insurance you may never use.
Long-Term Care Riders
To accommodate some of these drawbacks, some life insurance policies offer a policy add-on called a long-term care rider, also known as a hybrid policy. Hybrid policies are more likely to maintain stable premiums and often come with a death benefit, so the premiums don’t go completely unused if you pass away without ever needing long-term care.
Long-term care riders are also typically more affordable than standalone policies. However, adding a long-term care rider to a life insurance policy may require you to pay a large lump-sum premium up front when purchasing the policy.
Annuities With Long-Term Care Benefits
Finally, some fixed and indexed annuities offer contracts that will pay more per month if you ever need long-term care. For example, if you own an annuity that pays you $2,000 per month and then start needing long-term care assistance, your annuity would begin paying an additional amount per month to help cover the long-term care costs.
Annuities usually come with lower returns than other types of investments, but some people prefer the security of knowing they will always receive a monthly payment for the duration of their life. If you are considering purchasing an annuity or already own one, it may be worth looking into options to add long-term care benefits to the contract.
Which Is Right for You? We Can Help You Decide
Your life and your family’s security are far too important to leave the long-term care question to chance. With the national median cost of a nursing home’s private room totaling $9,305 per month, the consequences of failing to plan for long-term care can be severe. A monthly bill of that size can quickly drain the average person’s retirement savings.
Choosing the right long-term care insurance—or another planning strategy entirely—depends on your unique circumstances and projected needs for your retirement. But the worst thing you can do is nothing at all. Strategizing for long-term care needs is complex, and it’s a process you shouldn’t have to navigate alone.
To objectively weigh your options and make a confident decision, partner with financial specialists like our team at Jacob William Advisory. We take an enlightened approach to financial planning that aligns all components of your plan to help you focus on what matters most. Contact our office by calling 410-821-6724 or emailing [email protected] or schedule an appointment at https://www.jacobwilliam.com/insights/#contact.
About Christina Hester Snyder
Christina is a Partner and Wealth Advisor at Jacob William Advisory with a storied 20-plus year career in financial services. Christina is known for her commitment to her clients and is dedicated to helping them alleviate their financial fears through education and planning that goes far beyond investments. She believes in a comprehensive approach that addresses all facets of planning, including wealth transfer, insurance, taxes, investments, estate and trust planning, retirement, risk management, and business planning. Christina graduated from the University of Baltimore with a Bachelor of Science in Business with an emphasis in international business. She also holds many professional designations, including CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RIPC®), and Certified IRA Services Professional (CISP). She is an active member of her community and is involved in many professional and nonprofit groups, including acting as the president of the Maryland chapter of Women in Insurance & Financial Services and serving on the board of a nonprofit that helps Maryland families with financial hardships. To learn more about Christina, please click here.