Are you underinsured? There's a good chance that you are. Most of us have health insurance, typically provided by our employer. You'll also see many Americans carrying home and car insurance. That's well and good, but it's probably not enough.
Give some thought, for example, to long-term care insurance. You may have just entered the second half of your expected life span, but this can be a good time to buy long-term care insurance, while you're still young enough to qualify for good rates.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) estimates that nearly half of Americans 65 and older will enter a nursing home at least once at some point in their life, and most will stay at least a year. Even if you don't end up in a nursing home, you may need some kind of in-home help. The Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) projects that only 6 million of the 13 million Americans who need or will need daily assistance have bought insurance for that care.
What kind of price tag are we talking about? Well, if you don't qualify for Medicaid, know that the average cost of a year in a nursing home is currently $56,000. In-house help (an aide or a nurse) can cost around $14,000 per year, and more if you need a lot of care or any kind of specialized care. According to the MetLife Market Survey of Assisted Living Costs, the average cost of an assisted living facility in America is $2,379 per month, or $28,548 per year, up 10% since last year.
Before you plunk down any money for a long-term care policy, find out more about it and comparison-shop. Drop by our Insurance Center for starters, and check out this previous Fool article, and this one, too. Also, visit the NAIC and IMSA websites. Your state offices might also offer information on the topic.