We found a story at NPR that examines one of the more difficult choices you will make when planning for End-of-Life: whether to buy long-term care insurance. It’s a complicated product that requires a long-term commitment, but it is a vital piece to any good End-of-Life plan. How do you know if long-term care insurance is right for you? The story follows Suzanne and Bob O’Donnell who purchased long-term care insurance while they were in their 50s. “A lot of our friends have tried to buy it (when they were older) and they’ve been rejected or their premiums were prohibitive,” said Bob. Insurance broker Scott Bunker has met with many people who considered buying a policy in their 50s and early 60s but then did not. “They explore it and think, this makes sense, but they put it off,” he said. “Then a year goes by and people will say, ‘OK, we’re ready to move.’” But sometimes it’s too late and they don’t qualify or the cost skyrockets. The O’Donnell’s wanted to be prepared so they sought a policy that had a substantial monthly benefit, inflation protection and many years of coverage. “We didn’t want to be a burden to our children,” Suzanne said, “and we wanted to be secure in where we’d be able to end up.” She explains she had witnessed her grandmother spend her final years in a nursing home Suzanne didn’t like. Bunker believes there are two ways to know how much coverage is right for you. “I talk about a full-insurance strategy or a co-insurance strategy,” Bunker said. “Full-insurance would be at around $11,000 a month while co-insurance would pay out at around $7,000 per month.” In a co-insurance scenario, the policyholder would have to pay $4,000 out of pocket each month for care. Without a policy, long-term care can quickly drain even the most thought out retirement plans, but like any insurance you are playing the odds that you will one day need it. Retirement age men have a 44% chance of going into long-term care while retirement age women have a 58% chance of needing long-term care. While most people average less than a year in long-term care, the risk is that it can go much longer. Few people realize Medicare rarely covers lengthy assisted-living or nursing home stays. In the end, if you have modest means and can afford it, it’s wise to protect your assets for your spouse or heirs. You don’t want to watch your assets melt away before Medicaid kicks in. One word of caution is to make sure your insurer is committed. You’re entering what could be a 30-plus-year relationship with them so you want to be confident your insurance partner is in it for the long-term. Read the story here.