Seventy percent of Americans over the age of 70 will require long-term care at some point, according to insurance consultant Zack Taylor. "Most people think of long-term care as living in a nursing home or assisted-living facilities, but 70% of claims begin when they're living at home," he says. "The average amount of time people need long-term care is five years, and the average annual cost is $100,000. Somebody is going to have to pay those expenses, and it will come out of your estate if you don't." One option is instead of going for a use-it-or-lose-it type of plan, find one where if you don't end up needing it, you can leave the money to a beneficiary or get it back after a surrender period, Taylor recommends.
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