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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/this-is-similar-to-the-whole-life-vs-term-life-20523433.aspx

Subject:  Re: Long-term Care Insurance Date:  3/22/2004  1:52 PM
Author:  rookieJoe Number:  39943 of 75335

This is similar to the whole life vs. term life insurance debate. There is no single answer that is right for everyone. The amounts paid in premiums isn't lower if you start paying at age 38 because the insurance company is your friend, it is lower because they get the benefit holding your money for longer.

If you invested your $38/month instead of buying LTC insurance at age 38, by the time you are 50 or 70 you would have money set aside for paying the higher LTC premiums at 50 or 70.

So, based on your risk tolerance and the long-term returns of equity and fixed income investments, come up with an expected rate of return for your "LTC savings" investments. Keep in mind that as you get closer to when you will withdraw money, you should shift more towards less risky investments so short term market swings won't be as painful.

Using this expected rate of return, run the numbers.

To determine if waiting until age 50 to start buying LTC insurance is better, answer this: At age 50, is $38/month plus the expected return of your "LTC savings" investments less than $75/month?

To determine if waiting until age 70 to start buying LTC insurance is better, answer this: At age 75, is $38/month plus the expected return of your "LTC savings" investments less than $250/month?

To determine if you should ever buy LTC insurance, answer this:
Would the returns on a $38/month investment from now until age 80 enough to pay for a nursing home from age 80 on?

If you asked: Is it prudent to plan ahead for LTC, I would say yes.

But to answer: Is it prudent to buy LTC at a younger age..... That varies by individual. If you would answer no to any of the questions below, you should consider buying LTC coverage now.

1. Do you have the self discipline to invest the money (and not raid it) you would otherwise pay in TLC insurance premiums?

2. Based on your expected rate of return if you chose to invest the money, is investing the money today and paying higher premiums later cheaper?

3. If the investment choice is cheaper, if enough cheaper for you to feel comfortable taking the risk that you need to go into a retirement home before age 80?

-Joe

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