Because they have longer life expectancies, women spend nearly three times what men spend on long-term-care services -- $124,000, on average, for women, compared with $44,000 for men, according to a study by the Society of Actuaries. To protect themselves against such huge costs, many women should consider buying some form of long-term-care coverage during their fifties or early sixties.
You can buy a stand-alone policy, perhaps purchasing three years of coverage. But what could make more sense are newer products that combine long-term-care coverage with either an annuity or life insurance. If you never use the long-term-care coverage, you will get annuity payouts for yourself or leave a death benefit for your heirs. Also, the medical underwriting rules are not as tough for these policies as they are for traditional long-term-care insurance.
Rose Swanger, a certified financial planner with ING Financial Partners in Knoxville, Tenn., recommends the annuity combination products for many of her women clients. “If you use it for long-term care, great,” she says. “If not, it becomes longevity insurance down the road.”
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