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Long-term care planning helps you in later life

Long-term care planning might be something you're starting to look into as you're getting older. You know that there is a need to have insurance and plans in place for when you can't take care of yourself any longer or for when you need assistance in your day-to-day life.

Many people begin to wonder if they need long-term care plans, because they already have families who are willing to help them. Many feel that they have enough assets in place to keep them above water should anything go wrong.

Is a long-term care plan really that important?

With the rising costs of insurance and care, it's more important than ever to buy insurance and to plan for your needs in the future. Long-term care is something more people need today than in the past, and it could help you protect your own assets while giving you financial support in the future.

Long-term care insurance is something most people don't want to have to need, but it's likely to get used at least at some point. Keep in mind that a shared home in a nursing home costs approximately $77,380 each year, a price that might be hard for your family to bear if you don't have insurance in place to help cover some of the costs. Even in assisted-living facilities, the average expense each year is $42,000.

In the event that you need nursing home care temporarily while you recover from surgery, an illness or injury, Medicare covers 100 days. However, it doesn't provide you with help for nursing homes or in-home help beyond that unless you have no savings.

How can you decide if long-term care insurance is the right choice for you?

You should look at a few things including what you're worth and the odds of needing long-term care insurance. The statistics show that around 70 percent of Americans who reach 65 will need long-term care, so the likelihood is higher that you will, too. If you have a higher net-worth, then buying long-term-care insurance is better, too. Why? It won't make you run through your savings. If you aren't going to have more than $2,000 in savings as a single person, then relying on Medicaid is normally fine.

Finally, check your family tree. If others have ended up using long-term care insurance, you may as well. Health and longevity are important, but a longer life often means relying on care insurance.

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