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I’m young, but I’m happy to pay $43 a month for long-term care insurance because I know firsthand what old age can cost

Summary List PlacementAs a kid, I spent an abnormally large amount of time in nursing homes. My mom was a nurse who worked in convalescent care, and my elementary school was a couple blocks from my mom's work. So every morning I sat in the waiting room for a...

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Summary List Placement

As a kid, I spent an abnormally large amount of time in nursing homes. My mom was a nurse who worked in convalescent care, and my elementary school was a couple blocks from my mom’s work. So every morning I sat in the waiting room for a bit before I walked to school. I sat in what felt like a spacious armchair for an 8 year old, surrounded by four walls of floral wallpaper, and kept busy organizing schoolwork in my Trapper Keeper.

On the other side of the waiting room I knew there were patients, some bedridden, others using walkers and wheelchairs. From my time spent roaming the hallways, I knew their days were filled with scheduled meals, punctuated by rounds of medications, and games in the activity room.

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Having a mom who was a nurse in convalescent care, I witnessed firsthand what life could be like if you aren’t able to care for yourself. I learned early that, should I fall ill or get into an accident and not be able to dress myself or get up on my own in the morning, long-term care insurance would help cover the out-of-pocket costs.

Whether you’re in a nursing home, adult daycare, or an assisted living facility, and depending on the type of insurance you get, LTC insurance could help your financial situation. So I decided to get a policy in my late 20s.

I was offered an insurance plan at a low monthly premium

When a benefits representative from my workplace talked about long-term care insurance and said it was being offered to all employees, I perked up. I know it seems strange that someone in their late 20s would purchase such an insurance policy, but because I was far younger than those who typically buy LTC insurance — mostly those in their 50s and 60s — my monthly premium would also be far below the norm. Plus, I didn’t have to undergo a medical exam.

The average long-term care insurance rate for a 55-year-old single male is $1,700 a year, which breaks down to $141 a month. For a single female, it’s $2,675 a year, or $223 a month. My monthly premium? It was $28 a month, or $336 a year, and just recently increased to $43 a month, or $516 a year. It’s certainly not pocket change, but since I can have up to $6,000 a month in out-of-pocket costs covered, it could pay for itself in six months’ time.

Long-term care insurance can help protect me in retirement 

Should I need long-term care, while there are no guarantees, it’ll most likely happen during my retirement years. If that’s the case, then long-term care insurance could prevent me from dipping into my cash reserve that’s part of my nest egg. 

The cost of such care certainly isn’t cheap — a private room in a nursing home can cost $100,000 a year. If you want in-home care, the median cost of an aide is $50,000 annually. Having long-term care insurance can help me live more comfortably and my family won’t have to worry about me or be responsible for tending to me. 

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I set up autopay to cover premiums 

To make sure I’m able to cover my monthly premiums, I set up autopay so that my premium payment is taken directly from my bank account. Plus, it’s folded into my budget. Sure, I could use that money toward a dinner out or to add a few streaming subscription services to my rotating queue, but I want to feel confident that the cost of care will be taken care of should I need it.

From a young age, I was fully aware of the aging process and knew that it would be a natural part of the life and death cycle to grow old and perhaps need some help. Insurance can be a prickly thing to get, partly because something ill-fated has to happen for you to benefit from it. But long-term care insurance is really there to protect you, your family, and your assets. Should I need long-term care, knowing I have the funds to pay for any assistance will be a huge relief.

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