With very few exceptions, it's a fallacy to think that your children, the government, or your savings will provide you with the appropriate care should you require long-term care assistance. Relying on any of the above sources to provide for your future long-term care needs might just be the costliest mistake you'll ever make.

Your children may now say they're perfectly willing to care for you should you ever become unable to independently care for yourself, but life changes. What if your good intentioned children are later raising children of their own, putting their children through college, establishing their career, jobless, in the middle of a nasty divorce, or simply didn't anticipate the degree of your needs?

For Medicaid eligibility, you're only allowed to have a very limited amount of assets, meaning that you must first spend your savings down to almost nothing before you can get Medicaid. Even then, Medicaid requires those savings to have been spent appropriately, meaning you can't just transfer your money to your kids. Should you become impoverished enough to qualify, you'll have very little control or options when it comes to how and who provides the care through Medicaid. Don't hang your hat on Medicare either. It pays for acute medical expenses, not custodial long-term care.

Your savings could be an option to pay for long-term care. However, at a cost of $5,000 plus each month, how long will your savings pay for your long-term care?

With children, government, and savings frequently not being viable options to pay for long-term care, many wonder how they should go about ensuring their needs get met when the time comes. Many financial experts are recommending long-term care coverage be purchased.

A Long-Term Care policy can provide the money to help you pay for long-term care services when the time comes. Knowing this funding is there if you need it will ensure you that you'll receive the appropriate care; not burden family members with the financial, physical, and emotional burden of being a caregiver; preserve your estate for your heirs; and possibly be able to remain in your own home for care. Additionally, you'll feel more comfortable using your retirement savings for the things you've been looking forward to doing for so long.

It might be difficult to fathom possibly paying another bill, especially for something as lackluster as insurance. However, most people that understand how equally vital and costly long-term care can be are happy to pay the premiums for the protection the policy offers in return. Here are some options to help you pay the monthly premiums for a Long-Term Care policy:

  • Your children might be interested in helping you pay the premiums. After all, the alternative is often the child quitting their job or making great sacrifices to their personal and financial lives to provide the care themselves and/or forfeiting any inheritance they might receive.
  • You might have enough equity in your home to obtain a reverse mortgage or line of credit.
  • You might decide to forgo full contributions to your retirement accounts and use the extra money to pay premiums.
  • You might opt for a policy that combines long-term care with Life insurance. Should you need long-term care, the long-term care rider accelerates the death benefit from the Life insurance. Of course, the death benefit paid to your beneficiaries will be reduced equal to the amount accelerated.

Keep in mind that the older you become, the more difficult and expensive it is to obtain A Long-Term Care policy. Ignoring or procrastinating when it comes to such a vital coverage can not only wreck your finances and leave you without the care you need, but also ruin any chance of leaving your heirs an inheritance from your estate.

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