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Long-term insurance is more important as we get older

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Many people don't have the insurance they need because it involves thinking about unpleasant possibilities. No one wants to consider that their house could be destroyed by a fire, earthquake or tornado or that they could suffer a debilitating injury or illness. With so many other expenses in our lives, why put away money for something that likely won't happen? Because it can, and when it does, it can be financially devastating.

Our insurance needs change and increase as we get older. In our 20s and 30s, auto, home and medical insurance are likely the most crucial. However, when we get older, we should also look at long-term disability and long-term care insurance.

Long-term disability insurance is actually important at any age, but particularly so when you reach your 40s and are likely entering your peak earning capacity. According to the Social Security Administration, a quarter of people in their 20s today will suffer some kind of disability by their 67th birthday. This could be an injury or illness that prevents them from working. How many of us can get by without our income for months on end? Long-term disability insurance will help pay your living expenses until you are able to return to work.

Long-term care insurance helps cover assisted living, nursing home and home health care. While many people don't need this until they are in their 70s and 80s, by then, it's far more expensive. It's much more affordable to purchase in your 50s.

Many people assume that Social Security disability insurance will cover long-term disability needs and that Medicare will cover their long-term care needs in their senior years. However, these government-provided programs provide only limited coverage. Further, SSDI can be difficult and complicated to get. That's why it's essential to ensure that you have coverage that will help you and your family avoid financial ruin while you get the care you need.

While long-term disability and long-term care insurance policies are important, unfortunately, having this insurance does not guarantee that you won't get push-back when you file a claim. It may be wise to seek the help of an experienced disability attorney when filing a claim to help ensure that you are providing the documentation needed for payment. This can help get you the money you need as soon as possible. If you have been denied, a disability attorney can help with your appeal.

Source: The Washington Post, "Insurance mistakes people make at every age" Jonnelle Marte, Oct. 22, 2014

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