University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #FAR9050

Long-Term Care Insurance Purchase 1

Josephine Turner and Donna Davis2

Figure 1. 
[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

As the daughter of aging parents, having the conversation about who will take care of Mom or Dad and the "what-ifs" has been no easy task. One option we've talked about is long-term care insurance. The question of whether to buy long-term care insurance requires a thorough analysis of many factors, including the older adults' financial goals and projections, risk management and tolerance, anticipated life span, and potential family involvement.

According to financial experts, some of the criteria for purchasing long-term care insurance include: The policy holder should be age 55 or older with a chronic medical condition; may have a family history that indicates need for nursing home care; should have assets of $200,000 to $1.5 million; have the desire to protect assets; and have the capacity to absorb potentially high premium increases.

Long-term care insurance is not for everyone. Low-income, low-asset individuals simply cannot afford long-term care insurance and must rely on family, friends, or Medicaid to pay for care. High-income, high-asset consumers have sufficient resources to self-insure for costs of care. The people in the middle who fear a long stay in a nursing home, depletion of their assets, and impoverishing a spouse need guidance to make this decision. If you think long-term care insurance is something you need, seek the help of a reputable financial advisor to help explain the costs and options.

Listening, learning, and living together: it's the science of life. "Family Album" is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and of WUFT-FM. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our website at

To listen to the radio broadcast:



Purdue University. Planning for a secure retirement.

University of Minnesota. Financing long-term care: A resource center for families.


Lown, J. M., and Palmer, L. (2004). Long-term care insurance planning: An alternative approach. Journal of the Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education, 15(2).



This document is FAR9050, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 354. Published March 2009. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Josephine Turner, professor, and Donna Davis, senior producer, Family Album Radio; Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.