Don't let high costs keep you from needed coverage
9 Ways to Save on Long Term Care Insurance
by Vernon Williams
How to Buy a Long-Term Care and Life Insurance Policy
How to Create a Long-Term Care Plan
- Buy a group policy through your employer. Since it is a group policy that is subsidized by your employer, the premium will be lower than if you purchased an individual policy.
- Apply for coverage before your next birthday. Since your premium is based on your "issue age," the age you are when you apply for coverage, each year you wait your cost will increase by 8% to 12%.
- Apply for coverage with your spouse. This Joint or Shared Benefits Policy provides more flexibility in using your combined benefits and can lead to a Spouse/Partner discount of up to 25%
- Take advantage of good health discounts. By applying for coverage before you have health issues, you could receive a "Healthy Person" discount of between 5% and 25%. Even if your health deteriorates in the future, you will retain your "Healthy Person" discount for the rest of your life.
- Take advantage of tax deductions. Under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines at the time of this writing, premiums on tax-qualified policies are considered medical expenses. If your total medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, you may be able to deduct the premiums on Schedule A. If you are a business owner, you can deduct all of the premiums for long term care insurance even if you do not itemize. Editor's note: Consult your CPA, tax preparer or the IRS to find out current deduction amounts.
- Lower your daily benefit. Lowering your daily benefit by 20% may result in a 20% lower premium.
- Select a longer elimination period. This is the amount of time that you pay out of pocket before the policy starts to pay. Increasing your elimination period from 0 to 90 days can save you up to 15% per year in premiums.
- Make fewer premium payments. You can save 8% a year by making one lump sum payment instead of paying monthly or quarterly.
- Get several quotes for long term care insurance. Prices for the same coverage can vary by hundreds of dollars, so it pays to shop around.
With over 20 years of experience as a personal financial educator and counselor, Vernon Williams has developed in depth knowledge of what it takes to achieve financial success. Today, he is a sought after trainer and speaker by organizations from both the public and private sector. He is the author of 425 Ways to Stretch Your $$$$ and 3 Rules that Guarantee Financial Success. Visit Vernon at VernonLWilliams.com.
Take the Next Step:
- Find out: Should you buy long term care insurance?
- Get more answers to your questions about long-term care insurance by visiting the Dollar Stretcher Library.
- Use this tool to maximize your retirement by determining the best age to take your Social Security benefits. Don't leave thousands on the table by taking Social Security at the wrong time.
- Determine if debt could derail your retirement and what you can do about it now. Our checklist can help you. Afterall, one of the most important ingredients for a comfortable retirement is to be debt free when you retire.
- Subscribe to After 50 Finances. You've learned how to work smarter, not harder. This weekly newsletter is dedicated to people just like you. Subscribers get a FREE copy of our After 50 Finances Pre-Retirement Checklist, a list of everything you need to do to be ready for retirement.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
Debt is preventing me from saving as much for retirement as I should be! Tell us: Yes, debt is hindering my ability to save for retirement and I could use help dealing with it! or No, debt is not a problem but I'd love to discover more ways to save as I head into retirement!
Baby Boomer Tools & Resources
- A tool to determine the best time to take Social Security benefits
- Get out of debt before you retire
- Get free answers to financial questions
- Get free answers to legal questions
- Retirement shortfall calculator
- Life expectancy calculator
- IRA required minimum distribution calculator
- More retirement planning calculators
Trending in Baby Boomers
- Investing retirement money that you may never need
- Financial tips when nearing retirement
- Why pay off your mortgage with a reverse mortgage loan?
- 3 ways retirees can tap into their home equity
- Care for your aging parents in their own home or move them into yours?
- Tax consequences of selling your home in your 50s or 60s
- Nearly retired without savings
- This week's Readers' Tips