# At what age should I consider buying long term care insurance?

An oft overlooked, but important insurance product that has the ability to protect us from a reasonably likely and fiscally devastating event, Long Term Care insurance seems like something I am out to be seriously considering at some point, but when?

I'm sure it gets more expensive as I get older, but seems like a waste of money if you buy it too early. Does anybody here have any advice/reasoning for what the age sweet spot is for buying this type of insurance?

I will be very interested in this subject as well in a few years. So far what I found is from an excellent article at the Motley Fool. Basically if you have between $200,000.00 and$1,500,000.00 in assets you should consider long term care insurance around age 55. Less than $200,000.00 and you will most likely qualify for some government hand out. More than 1,500,000.00 and you can self insure. Here is the article I found. Fool article • This is very state-specific; for example, in California, it's currently possible to qualify for state-paid LTC with a residence of any value and an automobile of any value. If only half of a married couple needs LTC, the non-institutionalized spouse can retain another$110K in assets. The other angle to consider is what kind of care is needed, and in what setting. Government-paid LTC is often much less flexible re at-home or alternative care options. – gbroiles Aug 22 '10 at 6:29

My understanding is that age 60 is the magic time to buy Long Term Care Insurance. Younger and you'll save little to none on premiums and statistically never use it before age 60. Older and it becomes more expensive and more likely that you won't qualify.

• I have heard from people who deal with LTC frequently that the "sweet spot" is the mid-60's, but this seems to be the general consensus. – gbroiles Aug 22 '10 at 6:26

There is no perfect age. Factors that I consider important are,

1. Perfect age for the long term care insurance is after you retire. When you are working, you do have insurance provided by your employer.

2. It also depends on your assets. If you have assets in excess of \$250,000 then you will less likely get any government assistance.

3. In general, age between 60 and 65 would be perfect for the long term care insurance.

You could slip and fall in the shower tonight. Or you might never need it.

Insurance is a hedge against risk. If the event has already occurred, you're uninsurable.

If you and others would suffer if you have a bad accident and can't work, get it now.

• Understood, but I was more talking not so much about insuring not so much about the need for LTC from accidents, but more about the more likely scenario where I will need it when I am elderly. – JohnFx Aug 22 '10 at 1:50
• You talk only about the detriment of the event, not the probability of it occurring. It's a very small chance of a 25 year old becoming disabled (etc, etc). – C. Ross Oct 11 '10 at 16:46