Expert: Long-term care a needed discussion

Apr 18, 2011

Older Americans need to consider their long-term care options

Families may want to avoid talking or even thinking about it, but experts say long-term care is a concern that's unavoidable.

Roughly 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will need some sort of long-term care, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That fact alone should encourage families to sit down and discuss the financial implications of disability or death, deciding on the value of a solid long-term care or life insurance policy, Kari Berit told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Berit wrote a book designed to advise adults who must care for their disabled parents.

Experts said consumers are often unaware of how hefty the bill for long-term care can be, even if they choose to have in-home care as opposed to moving their parent to a nursing home. Additionally, many are unaware they can often pair their long-term care insurance with their existing life insurance policy, allowing them a chance to get coverage for both parents at affordable prices.

New York state recently made it legal for seniors to tap into their life insurance policy's death benefit to pay for long-term care, giving them a way to afford care well into old age.

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