New strategies for covering long-term care costs


You’ve heard the scary statistics: About two thirds of Americans will need long-term care. The average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home is $87,600; the length of stay can run three years or more. Do a few quick calculations, and it’s easy to get very worried about the potential financial impact […]

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Watch: Making money last in retirement


How can you make your money last throughout retirement? I discussed the question as part of a terrific panel at the recent Morningstar Individual Investor Conference. My co-panelists were Christine Benz, Morningstar’s director of personal finance, and financial planner Mark Balasa, co-founder of wealth management firm Balasa Dinverno Foltz. The session was moderated by Adam Zoll of […]

New Medicare coverage of long-term care off to a rocky start

Judith Stein, director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

A physical therapist visits Robert Klaiber, 78, weekly to provide a special type of physical therapy that helps alleviate his symptoms from Parkinson’s disease. Klaiber’s wife, Diane, was under the impression Medicare wouldn’t cover the therapy, which costs $500 or more a month. But earlier this month a neighbor noticed an announcement in a retirement […]

Long-term care: Why your location really matters


Location, location location: Not only is it key to the value of real estate, it’s also a big driver of the cost of long-term care. A study of long-term care costs in the United States released this week shows that the cost of long-term services and support varies dramatically by location. For example, the national […]

A plea for ‘slow medicine and ‘good deaths’ for the elderly

Katy Butler

Katy Butler wanted her elderly father’s pacemaker turned off, but she couldn’t get a doctor to do it. In 2001, Butler’s father, Jeffrey, suffered a debilitating stroke at age 79. Two years later, his doctor recommended installation of a pacemaker that would help him survive hernia surgery – a decision that seemed harmless at the […]

Divided commission punts on long-term care finance


Why can’t we all just get along when it comes to long-term care? Long-term care services support the medical and non-medical needs of people with chronic illnesses. Coverage is hardly restricted to older people, but demand for long-term care services will explode as the baby boom generation ages. The U.S. Congress upset the left when […]

Why Genworth’s long-term care moves are sparking concerns


Thomas McInerney, Genworth Financial’s CEO,  told investors recently that the company is “conducting an intense, very broad and deep review of all aspects of our LTC insurance business.” He said he hoped to improve Genworth’s long-term care insurance business by getting state insurance regulators to approve big rate hikes on old policies written before 2001, […]

Buying Tips for Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care

The cost of health care is a key wild card in any retirement plan. Out-of-pocket spending can vary widely, depending on longevity, health status, and income–even where you live makes a difference. But most estimates on retirement health-care costs don’t factor in an even bigger challenge: paying for long-term care. Experts estimate that 70% of […]

Are hybrid life insurance policies a good bet for long-term care coverage?

“What if I never need long-term care?” That’s one of the biggest buyer objections to purchasing long-term care insurance, or LTCI. It’s an understandable concern because LTCI is costly. Policy premiums can easily top $4,000 annually; it’s important to stick with these policies once they are purchased. Yet insurers have been pushing through double-digit rate hikes […]

Want to age at home? Technology to the rescue

Laurie Orlov

Getting old? There’s an app for that. And a smartphone interface. And a tablet device that lets family members monitor your medication schedule, send text messages and share photos. A major new wave of technological innovation is aimed at helping people stay in their homes as they grow older and require care. These “age in place” […]