Dear Dave: I'm 54, my husband is 56, and we still have three teenagers at home. Recently, we were told that it's the perfect time for us to buy long-term care insurance. What do you think about this idea?
My guess is that you were advised to buy this by someone who sells insurance. I'd also call this a conflict of interest.
If you'll do a little bit of research, you will find that there's about a 1 percent chance of folks your age needing long-term care insurance. So no, it's not the perfect time for you guys to do this. I don't insure things that have such a miniscule chance of happening.
Once you turn 60, the chances of something unfortunate happening rise practically every day. That's why I advise people to start shopping for long-term care insurance on their 60th birthday, regardless of their income or assets. Think of it as a gift to yourself and your family. Nursing home care can run anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 a year. That will crack and scramble most people's nest eggs in a hurry!
Do you want long-term care insurance? Absolutely. But my advice is to wait until you're 60 years old.