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Should I buy long-term care insurance?

As we get older and our health declines, the greater the chances are that we will require home care, nursing home care, or other assisted-living arrangements. This care is quite expensive, and Medicare, HMOs, and Medigap don't pay for it. You might want to look into purchasing long-term care insurance (LTCI) to protect your assets in case you need long-term care.

Whether or not you should purchase LTCI depends on your age, medical history, assets, and income. Ask a financial professional about whether LTCI is right for you. If you meet some of the following criteria, you might want to seriously consider it:

  • You are between the ages of 40 and 84 (generally, LTCI is not available to those over 84)
  • You have a family history of Alzheimer's disease
  • You own substantial assets that you'd like to protect
  • You have family members to whom you wish to leave your assets
  • You can afford the cost of LTCI premiums now and will be able to afford them in the future
  • You are in good health and are insurable