YOU ASK:

What is the best age to buy long term care insurance?

WE ANSWER:

According to insurance industry practitioners, it is best to look into buying long term care insurance when you are in your mid to late fifties. The premiums at this age range would be much cheaper than if you would buy it at a later time. Insurance companies who sell this kind of policy do some underwriting and will evaluate your health condition and if you have existing medical problems, this may result in:

  • Increased premiums
  • A waiting period for that pre-existing condition, where the insurance company will not pay for any benefits if a claim occurs within a specified time after the policy is issued
  • That pre-existing condition being excluded from the policy

On the average, those who are in their mid to late fifties are still healthy and don't have much by way of pre-existing conditions.

Buying long term care insurance when you are in your 40s won't make much sense since the probability of you needing it then is very low. Even if the premiums are lower at this age, it does not mean that it won't increase over time. So you may end up paying for me as you continually renew the policy until such a time that you will need it. Also, you have to take inflation into account when you are buying the policy this early. What looks reasonable this time may really be too little thirty years down the line.

You can also buy insurance when you reach your early 60s. In fact, this is the age where most people think to sign up for long term care insurance. However, if you go past your early 60s, there may be a longer list of diseases that will be excluded from your policy, or worse, you may be denied coverage if you fail the requisite medical exam. Premiums are also higher at this point.

Actually, it really depends on your individual situation and health condition. Look into your family tree to see what diseases you may be prone to. Also, look at your relatives' average life time - how long they tend to live. This is important because as people live longer, the possibility of serious health problems will also increase. Now, if you already have a chronic illness, you can think about buying it at an earlier age.

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