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.htmAs 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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