When Should a Person Begin Thinking About LTC Insurance?

Long term care insurance is one of the only protections that we have to ensure that we get the care we need should we ever require long term care, such as a nursing home or in-home nursing. The cost of this type of care can be substantial, and it is typically not covered by life insurance or Medicare.

We also need to start thinking about this type of insurance early, before it becomes a medical necessity. But how early is too early?

The Optimal Age Range for Long Term Care Insurance

If finances allow, there is never a wrong time to seek out long term care insurance. Long term care needs can occur at any time, and there are solutions available that might make financial sense given your family’s finances, with policies that begin at a younger age.

But there is an “optimal” age for beginning LTC insurance – an age where you should strongly consider obtaining a policy. That age is right around a person’s early 50s to mid-50s depending on their health. This is typically considered the time in a person’s life where they are able to get the best policy, and at a time that is ideal for them.

Some of the reasons that your early to mid-50s are the best age to begin prioritizing long term care insurance includes:

  • Premium Costs – The younger you are when you purchase LTC insurance, the lower the premiums will typically be. As you age, the cost of purchasing a policy increases significantly. Getting a policy at a younger age can be a great way to make sure that you’re getting a better rate, especially at a time while you’re still working.  
  • Health Status – Younger individuals are generally healthier and more likely to qualify for coverage. As you age, the likelihood of developing health issues that could disqualify you or lead to higher premiums increases. Remember, long term care insurance carriers are not going to cover you if you *already* need long term care, and you never know when that situation occurs. The more health conditions you struggle with, the more likely it will be hard to find coverage.

If you have a family history of chronic illnesses or conditions that may require long-term care, you should consider purchasing LTC insurance earlier. Conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia often have a genetic component, which can increase the likelihood of needing long-term care.

You should also consider financial protection. One of the most common reasons to consider LTC insurance is because you typically cannot quality for any long term care until you’ve used up all your financial assets. If you have significant assets that you wish to protect from being depleted by long-term care costs, considering LTC insurance in your 50s can help safeguard your financial legacy.

Getting LTC Insurance at the Right Age

Incorporating LTC insurance into your overall retirement strategy can help ensure that you have comprehensive coverage for all potential health care needs, without relying solely on personal savings or family support.

LTC insurance policies can be tailored to fit your specific needs, including the level of coverage and the types of services covered (e.g., in-home care, assisted living, nursing home care). The earlier you start planning, the more flexibility you have in customizing your policy, and the less expensive your policy is likely to be.

For more information about long term care insurance, or to get started on your policy, contact Long Term Care Resources Pacific Agency (LTCR Pacific) and get connected with an agent to get started.

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