This will be a series of posts about Insurance. The kinds to stay away from, and how to shop for the kinds you need. Insurance is NOT a rip-off btw, the right kinds of insurance are an absolutely vital part of your financial plan.

First and foremost, know that we do not sell any insurance of any type. I don’t care what you buy. I’m just going to tell you what’s smart to buy and what to stay away from.

Today, Christie is teaching a finance class out of town to a group of ladies who are getting back on their feet and into the workforce. She texted me to get some numbers on Long Term Care insurance so since that’s foremost on my mind I’ll discuss LTC today so that I don’t get distracted (“SQUIRREL!”)

Long-Term Care (LTC) is nursing home insurance. If you become in a state where you need round the clock care either at a nursing home facility or at-home, you’ll be glad you have this insurance. It’s in the top two types of insurances that Americans are sadly the most under-insured (the other is Long Term Disability). Today, according the Association For Long Term Care Insurance, the average cost for a couple age 60, in good health, is $3381 per year, for both.

You NEED LTC insurance when you hit age 60. You have a next-to-zero chance of needing this insurance before age 60, but as soon as you turn 60 you should buy this for yourself as a birthday present. If you have parents at or near that age, make sure they have it. Here’s why.

Let’s say Mom and Dad have worked their whole lives, invested and saved up $200,000 in a nest egg for retirement. They start drawing down on it at age 65 and something happens to Dad, who goes into a nursing home. As of today the average cost of a nursing home is $72,000 a year. If Dad is in the nursing home for two years before he passes, they’ve just cracked and scrambled the nest egg, leaving Mom with almost nothing. (Retiring with just Social Security income is in fact almost nothing, and is Not OK. We want better for you than that, and you should, too)

The US Census Bureau says that 80% of wives outlive their husbands by an average of 14 years. That’s a long time to regret not having bought LTC insurance when you were healthy.

You’ll hear me say this a lot in future posts on insurance: Look for an insurance broker that sells more than one brand, or one company of insurance. Those that sell one brand are called captive agents – they can’t sell anything but that one brand so you have no comparison of price. A good insurance broker will represent many different brands or companies for insurance. We recommend Zander Insurance at for LTC, Term Life, and other types of insurance and we personally have bought two policies from them.

The right kinds of insurance are a necessary defense for your financial plan. Yes, insurance costs money. But good insurance protects the things that MAKE you money, like your retirement investments. Don’t go into retirement without LTC insurance in place. In future posts we’ll talk about Life Insurance, which protects your income. It too is vital, and the right kinds of Life Insurance are a lot cheaper than you may think.