Long-term care planning may incorporate insurance policies

The movie 'Still Alice' depicts a 50-year-old professor who suffers early on-set Alzheimer's. Despite the power of the story, the chances of this happening are very remote. However, a number of studies indicate that most people, including those who live in Texas, will need some form of long-term care after the age of 65. Accordingly, it is a good idea for someone in this age group to engage in long\-term care planning.

It appears that the easiest and most convenient plan is to obtain appropriate long-term care insurance for those later years. It is also the most expensive. However, today there are options and hybrids that can be adopted in a long-term care planning process that may fit the needs for many people. The purpose of such insurance is to provide assistance to people for such activities as bathing, eating, walking, housekeeping and various other tasks of everyday life.

Each person and each family may have a unique formula for placing long-term care insurance into their future plans. Thus, where family members will provide in-home assistance to a beloved parent for a certain number of hours per week, insurance can be purchased to cover the cost of an outside service for the remaining time. The need for such insurance can be made even more flexible if the person is known to keep in shape and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Thus, for those who anticipate living a long and healthy life, there is the option to open a health savings account.

This method of long-term care planning offers the option of setting money aside to use if needed in the future. There may be tax advantages associated with the program. Another flexible option is to purchase a life insurance policy that lets one accelerate the death benefit to pay for long-term care. There may be programs that are not legal in Texas and there may be others that are particularly available here. It is therefore necessary to research the market for applicable insurance prior to making a decision.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Long-Term Care Insurance: Planning and Possible Alternatives", Laiza King, June 14, 2016

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