By Guest Writer Cody Twombley, Financial Advisor at Integrated Financial Partners

Long-term care (LTC) is a reality that many individuals may face as they age, and understanding its potential impact is essential for comprehensive financial security.  Data shows that 70% of adults who survive to age 65 develop significant LTC needs before they die.

Long-term care encompasses a range of services and support for daily living activities, especially when an individual is unable to perform them independently. It’s not just about the elderly; unforeseen circumstances, such as accidents or chronic illnesses, can lead to a need for long-term care at any stage of life. While the need for long-term care is on the rise due to longer life expectancy, the cost of care is increasing at an even faster rate. Click here to see the average cost of care in your state.

What About Long-Term Care Insurance? Traditional long-term care insurance (LTCI) can provide valuable coverage for individuals facing the potential need for extended care due to aging, illness, or disability. However, like any financial product, LTCI has its drawbacks:

  • Expensive Premiums: Traditional LTCI can be costly, and the premiums tend to rise over time. For some individuals, especially those on fixed incomes, the increasing premiums may become difficult to afford.
  • Use it or Lose it: If you don’t end up needing long-term care, you won’t receive any benefits, and the money spent on premiums may seem wasted. This “use it or lose it” nature can be a deterrent for individuals who might not want to pay for coverage they may never use.
  • Health Qualifications: To qualify for traditional LTCI, individuals typically need to meet certain health criteria during the underwriting process. If you have pre-existing health conditions, you may face higher premiums, exclusions, or even denial of coverage.
  • Market Volatility: The LTCI industry has undergone changes, with some insurers exiting the market or increasing premiums substantially. This can create uncertainty for policyholders about the stability of their coverage and the reliability of their chosen insurance provider.

Bridging the Gap with Life Insurance: While the prospect of long-term care costs may seem daunting, there are proactive solutions to mitigate financial risks and provide peace of mind. One such solution is leveraging life insurance as a tool for long-term care planning.  Some life insurance policies offer riders or options specifically designed to address long-term care needs.

Long-term care riders attached to life insurance policies can provide policy holders with access to a portion of the death benefit to cover qualifying long-term care expenses. This versatile approach ensures that the funds allocated for life insurance can serve a dual purpose, offering financial protection for loved ones in the event of a passing while providing a safety net for potential long-term care needs.

Moreover, life insurance with long-term care benefits provides flexibility and control, allowing individuals to tailor coverage to their specific needs. This approach enables policyholders to maintain a sense of independence and choice in their long-term care decisions.

In conclusion, integrating life insurance into your long-term care planning strategy is a forward-thinking and holistic approach to financial well-being. By addressing potential long-term care needs early on, you can protect your assets, provide for your loved ones, and face the future with confidence. If you have any questions or would like personalized guidance on your long-term care planning journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced team by emailing cody.twombley@lpl.com.