More than 70 percent of people over 65 will need long-term care of some type at some point in their life. This can include stays in nursing homes and expensive home care.

For those who have few assets or no long-term-care insurance, the cost of long-term care can quickly deplete retirement savings. According to Life Happens, annual nursing home care is as much as $84,000 and nearly $45,000 for full-time help at home. Long-term care insurance can offset in part or in whole these extraordinary costs.

It is a common myth that Medicare pays for nursing home care – that is not true. Medicaid will help pay for care for individuals who have little or no assets, but not Medicare.

Long-term-care is not, however, reserved only for older individuals. An accident or serious illness can result in the need for extensive medical care, and often, it is in a nursing home. Some employers do offer long-term-care coverage as a voluntary benefit to employees. These plans may offer better options for some people and as an optional benefit, are offered at no cost to employers.

The best way to prepare for long-term-care expenses is to start at a younger age, not wait until retirement. The cost of coverages is based, at least in part, on the age at which you begin purchasing it. As always, you should consult with one of our licensed agents about options that meet your needs.