Do you need long-term care insurance? You very possibly do. Here are some scary statistics to help you take this issue seriously:

  • At 65, the average person's chances of being admitted to a nursing home at some point in the future are more than four in 10. (Long-Term Care Campaign)

  • One person in three who turned 65 in 1990 will stay a year in a nursing home. One person in 10 will stay five years or more. (National Association of Insurance Commissioners)

  • In 1994, 7.3 million Americans needed long-term care (LTC) services at an average cost of nearly $43,800 per year. By 2000, this number was to have risen to 9 million Americans at nearly $55,750 per year and, due to inflation, by 2060 it will skyrocket to 24 million Americans paying more than $250,000 per year to receive long-term care. (Long Term Care Insurance National Advisory Council)

  • Recent studies report that two of every five people age 65 and over will enter a nursing home and stay an average of 2.5 years. (Life Insurance Selling, Dec. 1995)

  • Within a year after admission as private-pay residents, more than 90% of nursing home residents are impoverished. (Life Savings by Harley Gordon, 1994)

  • On average, nursing-home care costs about $40,000 per year. (State Farm website)

As with all scary statistics, though, take these with a large grain of salt, as they can be and often are misleading. For more on this topic, see the article Those Dratted Statistics Made Easier, written by The Motley Fool's retirement expert, Dave Braze.

Learn more about retirement issues in our retirement area.

Learn more about insurance in our Insurance Center. You may not have thought about some kinds of insurance, such as disability or long-term care insurance, but they're vital for many people. Take a little time to learn more and you may be very happy you did, if some calamity occurs in the future.