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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

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When to apply for LTC insurance

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: Does it make sense to apply for long term care insurance now at age 45 or should I wait until I retire?

A: About one in three applications for Long Term Care insurance is declined, primarily because the applicant waited too long to apply for coverage. The total lifetime cost is the same regardless of when you apply, so it usually makes sense to apply early to spread out the payments and to ensure that you will qualify. The actual dollar cost can vary dramatically. For example, a policy might cost $500 per year now but cost $5000 per year if you wait until you retire. The difference is just due to the number of years you pay the premium. To offset the risk of paying for a longer time, policies now offer a protection feature in the event that you do not need the coverage that allows your heirs to recover the cost of the policy.


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