One of the biggest potential budget busters during your fixed income/retirement years is long term health care. Not knowing exactly how much money you might need to maintain your health and at what age can be stressful, especially since you have to begin to consider all these possibilities when that part of your life seems so far away. One way to balance out your concern, and take some action steps towards planning, is to explore your options while they are all still hypotheticals.

Balancing benefits, rates, and risks is going to help you decide the best course of action, which ultimately will save you money. Regret after the fact can be a costly mistake for many individuals and as your life moves forward, there is potential for more things to get in your way regarding qualifying for policies. Not to mention, adding in the cost of the policy to your household budget while you are still in a position to manage your expenses accordingly sets you up for a smooth transition once it comes time to start utilizing your benefits.

Find the Sweet Spot

Obtaining long-term care insurance probably will not become a necessity until you are within a decade or so of your retirement age. Of course, you could get a policy with a lower premium in your forties or when you turn fifty, but if you do you will probably be paying premiums for what could be decades before you file a claim. Also consider if you are in a situation where you will have a spouse with the same necessities around the same time.

Rates for couples can vary up or down in comparison to rates for singles. Solo vs. partnered candidates might also want to take time into consideration, and factor in variables such as, if they are a duel or single income household, and if one person’s age and health concerns vary largely from the others. Sixty-five seems to be the most suggested age to have your research completed, and your plan set into motion. This age is suggested based on the odds of individuals being able to take advantage of Medicare coverage, coupled with potentials tests and exams that might uncover health risks making it difficult to qualify for obtaining long term care insurance.

Know What You Need

This type of coverage can be complex, especially considering it is mostly based off assumptions when the initial plans are made. Knowing the right questions to ask, and key words to focus on is going to make a world of difference when it comes time to settle on a decision and start paying on it. One example of a consideration to take when obtaining long-term care insurance is what types of facilities are covered. Finding out ahead of time if your policy limits you in any way regarding where you will reside when receiving your benefits can lessen the chance of finding out the hard way that you have to compromise on comfort when the time comes.

Elimination period is a key phrase to familiarize yourself with. This applies to a period between when the insured is responsible for the cost of care, before their policy kicks in. Added financial responsibility that will fall on your pocketbook is something you will want to plan for, and the elimination period length varies from policy to policy. As you shop around your options for obtaining long-term care insurance, also consider the agency itself. The strength and reputation of the insurance company that you select is going to affect things like, customer service options, and overall security. Knowing that you have picked a reputable agency to give your money to, in exchange for the promises made in their policies, is going to give you the peace of mind that you will no doubt need when the time comes to begin to file claims.