Since November is long-term care awareness month, it is appropriate to express the importance of long-term care insurance and the seriousness of acting now.  Though 51% of Americans say they need long-term care insurance, only 14% own it. This is a common dilemma for American households because most people do not know when to buy.

It is a subject that many people would rather push under the rug or shrug off by saying they’ll cross that bridge when they get to it. But if the bridge is on the horizon, then it is too late. Long-term care insurance should be a sound part of a family’s financial plan and should be considered at an early stage. The typical purchaser of long-term care insurance is age 59.

“Most people don’t realize the extremely high cost of long-term care,” said Royce Williams, local Nashville Allstate Agent. “Do you want to leave everything you’ve worked hard for to your heirs? Long-term care insurance can help you do that.”

It is important to note that long-term care is about more than entering a nursing home. It is protection from the likelihood that a loved one will get sick as his or her age increases.  To consider this, learn how much long-term care really costs. According to Chad Eyrich, of the nonprofit organization Life, the national median rate for a licensed home health aide is $19/hour, which is $3,244 per month for 44 hours of care each week.  Long-term care insurance is one realistic way of funding this plan.

Being aware of the myths that surround long-term care insurance is also critical when considering which path to take. Don’t fall for the common misconception that there is a government program that will pick up the needs that long-term care insurance will cover. Medicaid will require you to meet state-specific poverty guidelines and Medicare does not cover custodial care, the kind of care you get when you need long-term care.  Long-term care insurance covers more than nursing home care, such as home, adult care, hospice care and assisted living facility.

The time is now to consider the effects aging will have on the lives of loved ones and family. Long-term care insurance is a way to protect against what naturally occurs throughout the life cycle.

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