When should seniors in their 70s should buy long-term care insurance?

April 3, 2024

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There are multiple times when purchasing long-term care insurance in your 70s makes sense. 

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Shopping for long-term care insurance in your 70s can be stressful. After all, premiums for this type of insurance typically increase with age and rejection can be a real concern for seniors. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider coverage at all. 

There’s a high probability that you could need some form of long-term care at some point in your life. And considering the high cost of that care, long-term care insurance can help you plan for that potential need

In fact, there are several times when you should purchase long-term care insurance, even in your 70s. Below, we’ll detail three of the better times to act when seniors are in their 70s.

Compare your long-term care insurance coverage options today

When should seniors in their 70s should buy long-term care insurance?

Long-term care insurance doesn’t always make sense when you’re in your 70s, but there are times when it’s an important consideration. Some of the most important times for seniors in their 70s to purchase long-term care insurance include: 

When they haven’t already planned for long-term care costs

Long-term care can be expensive. Even the least expensive type of 24-hour care can cost around $60,000 annually. If you’ve already planned for that expense, you may not need long-term care insurance. But if you haven’t, it’s important to consider purchasing a policy now.

After all, if the need for long-term care arises – as is the case at some point for most seniors – you may not have the money you need to cover the cost. That’s especially true for retirees who are 70 or older and on a fixed income. 

Moreover, if you do have the money you need to cover such a large expense, you’ll likely need to tap into your estate to do so – possibly limiting or even preventing you from leaving an estate to beneficiaries. 

Get long-term care insurance now to make sure you can afford the care you may need later

When they don’t want to burden their loved ones

Many older Americans plan on leaning on their loved ones for help when they need additional care. And while your loved ones may be eager to help you, leaning on them for your full care may not be possible.

“Long-term care insurance protects a family from the responsibility of providing caregiving support to a loved one all the time,” explains Lori Martin, CLTC and instructor at Certification for Long-Term Care, a training company that certifies long-term care insurance agents. “While most family members want to provide that support, they can’t assist with caregiving needs 24/7.”

The good news is that most long-term care insurance policies cover services like adult daycare. That can ensure that you have the care you need when your loved ones are unavailable. Moreover, these policies also typically cover home health aides. So, if your family caregivers take a vacation or otherwise need an extended break, you don’t have to worry about going without the care you need. Some long-term care insurance policies also make it possible to pay your family when they do provide your care

When they want to age at home

When you’re in your 70s you’re likely comfortable in your own home. You may have raised a family there or simply spent the last few decades around the same neighbors and friends. So naturally, you may want to age in place rather than moving to an assisted living community. 

The good news is that you don’t need to move into an assisted living community for long-term care insurance to be beneficial. In fact, there are many options that may help you age at home. Some policies may even pay for accessibility-related home renovations – like the installation of a ramp that leads to your front door or handles in your bathroom. 

Some policies come with pre-claim wellness benefits, too. “These programs offer resources to help people age successfully at home, including access to health coaches or care managers that create personalized plans to address potential needs that might lead to long-term care, as well as tools or assistive devices to support daily activities,” explains Andy Freedman, vice president of client experience and corporate marketing at Assured Allies, a finance and insurance firm that serves seniors. 

Nonetheless, it’s important to keep in mind that different policies often offer different coverages. So, be sure that the policy you’re considering offers the type of coverage you’re looking for before you purchase it.

The bottom line

Though shopping for long-term care insurance in your 70s may be stressful, there are times when doing so is worthwhile. That’s especially true if you haven’t already planned for the high cost of care, don’t want to burden your loved ones or want to age at home. If that’s the case for you, compare your long-term care insurance options now

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