Do you need long-term care insurance? There's no one answer that applies to everyone. The United Seniors Health Cooperative, a nonprofit consumer organization devoted to the issues of the elderly, suggests that long-term care insurance is appropriate provided it costs no more than 7% of your retired income and:

a. You have $75,000 or more per person in assets, excluding a home and a car.

b. You have a retirement income of at least $35,000 per person per year.

c. You can pay the premium without adversely affecting your lifestyle.

d. You could absorb up to a 30% increase in future premiums, if necessary.

If you're fairly wealthy, you may not need this insurance. Figure out what the kind of nursing home care you'd want would cost, and see how many years you could easily pay for it. If it won't present that much of a problem, you may be better off not paying out hefty premiums to cover expenses you might not incur, since you have alternative means of paying for them should they materialize.

Learn more about long-term care insurance and other kinds of insurance you might need in our Insurance Center. You can learn more about retirement issues in our retirement area and in our How to Plan the Perfect Retirement how-to guide, too.