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Author: feydom One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 11198  
Subject: Re: Single Income Retirement Planning Date: 12/14/2005 1:01 PM
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Hello, Jen!

At what age should a person start a LTC plan? I've always heard mid 50's, around 55 y/o.

Here's the Fool's LTC information link:
http://www.fool.com/insurancecenter/longterm/longterm.htm

As usual, the information is mostly focused on the financial and retirement scenarios of couples (frustrated long-winded sigh).

If you are a single independent (one income), like me, here are some key point excerpts from the link that I believe makes sense when deciding on buying LTC insurance:

*Inflation protection (5% compounded) is expensive but almost always worth it.

*Look at how many activities of daily living (ADLs) the policy recognizes and how many you need help with to qualify for benefits.

*Make sure that the policy covers in-home care and assisted living facilities.

*Nobody is guaranteeing premiums yet (they could be raised across the board in the future), so be sure you could handle a 30% increase.


TMF's David Braze article, The Issue of Long Term Care Insurance
(http://www.fool.com/retirement/care/03.htm) includes information about how to decide if LTC is a cost-effective expense:

The United Seniors Health Council, a nonprofit consumer organization devoted to the issues of the elderly, maintains that long-term care insurance is appropriate provided it costs no more than 7 percent of your retired income and:

1. You have $75,000 or more per person in assets, excluding a home and a car.
2. You have a retirement income of at least $35,000 per person per year.
3. You can pay the premium without adversely affecting your lifestyle.
4. You could absorb up to a 30% increase in future premiums if necessary.


The article also included some sobering and disappointing references about hoped-for benefits of past LTC policy holders:

"...until recently the industry has had a sorry record on benefit payments". In his book "Beat the Nursing Home Trap -- A Consumer's Guide to Assisted Living and Long-Term Care," author Joseph Matthews notes that for the decade ending in the mid-1990s:

1. About 50% of all policies lapsed before benefits were paid.
2. About half of policyholders who entered a nursing home never collected a dollar.
3. When benefits were paid, they were far below actual cost.

Yes, things have improved since then, but caution is still in order.


Ooooooooooooooouuuwccchhhhhh (and a hiccup)!

Planning and investing for, ever hopefully, a respectable retirement portfolio on one income is fast becoming a crap shoot! I don't wanna still be on someone's payroll at 65 or 70 plus, unless I get a notion and feel like it!

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!!! The older I get, the closer I come to retirement age, and the more senior age living challenges I realize I will have to deal with, the tougher it seems to be to prepare for and save up enough Go-To-%#__-Money!

At least I've got somewhere to go (TMF) to get some solid reliable answers!

Mary (who's a lifetime teetotaler, but wouldn't mind a stiff shot about right now!)
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