Long-term Care Insurance

Penelope S. Tzougros, Ph.D., ChFC, CLU Long-term Care Insurance: How to make decisions that are right for you. (Wealthy Choices, Waltham, MA: 2002).

Price: $10

The author, a financial planner and former professor, points to studies showing that two out of five Americans over age 65 will need long-term care at some point in their lives, and three in five over age 75 will have a nursing home stay.

Unlike many writers on the subject, however, Dr. Tzougros does not convey the impression that she is promoting the purchase of insurance to cover such eventualities. Instead, she dispassionately explains the financial consequences of buying or failing to buy coverage, allowing consumers to come to their own informed decision about whether or not they need it. As just one example, a checklist lets readers evaluate how likely they are to want or receive care from loved ones as an alternative to long-term care.

Once the decision to purchase long-term care coverage has been made, designing the right policy from the mix of available options is a surprisingly complex undertaking. In the booklet's second half, Dr. Tzougros patiently guides consumers through this process, defining terms and explaining how the various benefits and riders work. If she thinks a particular benefit is worth having, Dr. Tzougros doesn't hesitate to say so.

Long-term Care Insurance is a concise, clearly written guide that will be a valuable resource for those trying to decide whether to purchase long-term care coverage or how to design a policy

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