That depends. If you have considerable assets and income, utilize your ability to protect yourself and buy a robust policy. It’s a great value, and will give you peace of mind and protect your family even if you never have to use the policy.
However, because a bigger policy costs more this strategy only works for the comparatively wealthy. This has required an adjustment by long term care insurance specialists. We are now selling co-insurance, with the emphasis on covering the cost of home care and assisted living facility care. This is because less than 20% of the care scenarios take place in a nursing facility.
So what’s enough long term care protection for most? In my view, a policy would cover the average cost of eight hour home health care or 24 hour assisted living facility care in your area (often $ 120 to $ 170) for three years with a 3 % compound or 5 % simple inflation rider. In most cases, an initial pool of money in the $ 100,000 to $ 150,000 range will protect the vast majority.
The goal here is to spread some of the risk. There are other sources of income and you must be comfortable with the premium. Remember that the cost of insurance is very small…the cost of care is very large. The key is, buy something! If nothing is bought, no risk is spread. If nothing is bought, you have failed to protect yourself, your family and your income & assets.