It's not alarmist to think that you'll need long-term care in your lifetime. Among Americans who reach their 65th birthday, 45% will have to pay for some kind of long-term-care services, according to the actuarial firm Milliman.
Yet the decision whether to buy a long-term-care insurance policy, which pays out for nursing-home and certain at-home care, is one of the toughest calls you'll ever have to make. Insurance could preserve your estate for your heirs and save incredible heartache.
What if a debilitating illness runs in your family? In that case, your odds of needing expensive long-term care increase. Or perhaps you want the peace of mind of knowing that a lengthy nursing-home stay wouldn't financially devastate your spouse or your kids.