Long-term care insurance is a good idea for many people -- including you, possibly. 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 will rise to nine million Americans at nearly $55,750 per year. By 2060, inflation will drive costs even higher; 24 million Americans will pay 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, December 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)

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

As with all scary statistics, though, take these with a large grain of salt; they can be and often are misleading. For more on this topic, check out this eye-opening article written by Fool retirement expert Dave Braze.

Learn more about retirement issues in our retirement area. Our Rule Your Retirement newsletter can also help you, offering a lot of guidance to help you set yourself up for a comfy and enjoyable retirement, as well as specific investment recommendations. Try it for free and see for yourself -- it's a fun, engaging, single-sitting read. Robert Brokamp runs the show, and you can get a taste of his smarts and style in these articles:

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; if some calamity occurs in the future, you may be very happy you did.