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Long-term care planning may include insurance for daily care

As retirement approaches, some persons may be in a position to consider the purchase of long-term care insurance. Where there are sufficient financial resources, this kind of insurance can be highly effective for Texas residents desiring superior home care or nursing home residency when and if necessary. Long-term care planning will focus on getting insurance that is well supported by inflation protection to cover the rising cost of health care in future years.

Furthermore, a person desiring long-term care insurance as part of his or her plan must purchase the insurance early or it will become too expensive and the benefits will be too little. Thus, for a family with sufficient reserve assets, the long-term care policy should be purchased when the individual is in his or her 50s or early 60s, according to financial planners. For some families, a hybrid policy may be a good match. These policies combine life insurance and annuity features along with the long-term care coverage.

Those features may can make the insurance affordable for some families. However, the hybrid policies have a wide range of potential features and premium variations, so that detailed research is recommended before buying anything. The insured and his future family caretakers will want to each be familiar with the policy's details. Where professional advice is needed for any relevant issue, it is advisable to obtain the appropriate assistance, including a consult with an elder law attorney where appropriate.

Accordingly, it is ideal when family members get together to discuss a loved one's long-term care planning. This will optimally include all of the family members who expect to be available to provide financial or personal care when and if the time comes. It can be followed by a meeting with the person's elder law attorney. When the whole family joins in the process, the chances of the loved one's assets being preserved for his or her heirs can be greatly enhanced. These are general guidelines for Texas residents who are approaching retirement or who have a loved one who is in that category.

Source: The New York Times, "Long-Term Care Insurance Can Be Costly but Effective", John F. Wasik, Dec. 25, 2015

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