Q: My mother is a relatively young, healthy senior. She doesn't need long-term care insurance yet...does she?

A: Whenever we prepare a financial plan for a client, no matter what age, we always include a cost for long term care (LTC) premium in our projections. We feel this cost is key for both the client and the family in caring for their own needs or a parent's needs down the road. Due to the wonderful advances in medicine, we will all be living longer, but the quality of life, not just the quantity, is what is important. With families spread all over the country, and a chance that a family member may not live close by, you want to be sure that the care is available, both at home, adult day care, assisted living or lastly a nursing home.

The key point is that LTC is not just for the elderly. If you have a LTC policy and are hurt, god forbid, in an auto crash or some type of accident, the benefits will pay for your care…so it's for everyone. If you are eligible through a group plan through your employer, take advantage. In many cases they will insure family members in addition to the employees. It may be less costly since the premiums are based on a group rate rather than individual. Here at our firm, we offer LTC to all our employees as part of their benefit package.

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Yes, LTC is expensive, but compared to what? There are huge costs in not planning for LTC which ultimately affects the family dynamic both financially and personally.