LTC Planning Guide
Step 1: What is your Destination
Step 2: How will I Get There?
Step 3: When is the Best Time to Travel?







Prepare for the future – Starting early can make a big difference. LTC insurance premiums are cheaper when you are younger. It also takes time to set aside enough savings specifically for long-term care. Those who include long-term care as an integral part of retirement planning are likely to have resources to meet their long-term care goals.

Transitions – Although we may be aware of the need to plan ahead for long-term care, many of us wait until some important life event, such as retirement or death of a spouse, makes us take action. Others get an “early warning” when they hear about a family member or friend who needs care. For people in good health, it’s not too late to transfer risk with private insurance. Those who plan to rely on income and assets to pay for long-term care need to talk with a financial or estate planner in order to properly position their investment portfolio. Increasing numbers of older couples are including LTC insurance as part of their pre-nuptial agreements to protect their estates.

Imminent need – At this point, it’s tougher to plan. And without substantial personal resources to pay for care, there will be fewer choices and it will be more difficult to protect your lifestyle. There are some options when the need for long-term care is just around the corner. For homeowners, reverse mortgages can be an important source of cash. Family members and local community programs may also offer assistance.

Crisis management – When long-term care becomes a crisis situation, planning is difficult but not impossible. Those with substantial savings may decide to purchase an annuity to guarantee monthly payments to cover long-term care expenses. Life insurance may also be tapped. Government programs may be available to help people with limited resources.


Since the need for long-term care typically arises late in life, it is easy to procrastinate. Those who consider buying private insurance often assume that they can save premiums by putting off the decision. There are two reasons why you should not wait to buy. First, the cost of buying a LTC policy increases as you get older and are at greater risk of needing care. In addition, your health (or the health of your spouse) may deteriorate to the point where private insurance is no longer an option.

Age at purchase


Years Life Expectancy


Annual Cost of LTC Insurance*


Cumulative cost


*For a 4 year comprehensive policy with inflation protection, a 20-day waiting period, and a $100/day benefit. From HIAA 2003. These are average cost figures. Your premiums will vary depending on the LTC policy you select.


Making it Happen...