The Best Age to Buy Long-Term-Care Insurance

Experts say only some people need coverage.

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Not everyone needs long-term-care insurance. According to Consumer Reports Money Adviser, only people with assets between $200,000 and $2 million should be perusing policies. Retirees with assets of $2 million or more should be able to pay for the full cost of care. And those with a net worth below $200,000 to $300,000 (not including a house) won't be able to comfortably afford pricy premiums and will probably rely on government programs if they need long-term care.

Here's what Consumer Reports uncovered about the ideal age at which to buy:

40s. There is very little reason to buy a plan at this age. Although premiums are lower, you will spend more over time. Plus, there is no guarantee the premiums won't rise.

50s. Begin deciphering the fine print of various long-term-care options to see if a policy makes sense for you. Consider any health problems you have and how long your relatives tend to live. And evaluate the importance of leaving assets to heirs.

60s. For many people, this is the best decade to sign up. According to Consumer Reports: "The average age at which most people sign up for LTC coverage is 61. If you wait much longer, you run into insurability and affordability issues. For example, 23 percent of policy applicants in their 60s don't pass the required physical, and 45 percent of people in their 70s fail."

Here are 5 tips for buying long-term-care insurance.


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