Do you need long-term care insurance? There's no single answer that applies to everyone. The United Seniors Health Cooperative, a nonprofit consumer organization devoted to the issues of the elderly, has suggested 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 and get your questions answered on our Insurance discussion board (or just drop in to see what others are saying there). (Our Retirement Center is also chock-full of useful information.)

You'll also find the websites of many major insurance companies to be helpful. Depending on the kind of insurance you're after, click over to the websites of companies such as American International Group (NYSE:AIG), Allianz (NYSE:AZ), AXA (NYSE:AXA), Aetna (NYSE:AET), MetLife (NYSE:MET), and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa). 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.