Do You Really Need Long Term Care Insurance? – Part Two

Brian Fricke, CFP®Insurance, Long Term Care

This may be a question you find yourself asking as you approach retirement.

And with so many insurance options, it’s hard to know what is best for you. So, we brought back our Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to answer a few more questions on the topic.

Q: Long-Term Care Insurance is now available online. Why should someone use an agent when the policies are available online?

A: The expertise of an agent can be invaluable. First, you always want to buy from an independent agent. They will let you review policies from different companies. If you’re buying from a captive agent, they are working for one company. This means they have to believe the one product is the best. It may be the best for the agent but it may not be the best one for you. An independent agent will let you compare multiple rates and policies from many companies.

Buying over the Internet isn’t effective because choosing the right policy isn’t easy. You have to consider more than just the cost of the premium, but options such as whether to use a “return of premium” plan that will return your entire premium if you do not use them.

Q: How do I find a reputable agent?

A: References. References. References. You want to find someone who specializes in long-term care insurance, due to its complexity. Talk to friends, neighbors, relatives and financial advisors for their recommendations.

When you start talking with agents—and, again, we recommend independent agents—ask them about their experience, how they work, what fees they charge, the process and ask them for references. There’s no reason why they shouldn’t provide you with names of satisfied clients. Don’t be bullied into making a quick decision by an aggressive agent.

Q: When should I buy long-term care insurance?

A: The ideal age at which to buy coverage is when you’re in your 50’s, when the rates are quite reasonable.

Q: Do the premiums spike when somebody turns sixty-five?

A: Generally the premiums do rise substantially at age sixty-five. The hikes may begin at eight or ten percent but we’ve seen them up as much as 30%.

If you missed Part One of this discussion, check it out here.

For more information on what you should be considering when planning your incredible retirement, request your free copy of Brian Fricke’s book Worry Free Retirement.