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CHAPTER 12

wouldn’t have had to use their savings, the $50,000 would have grown with the rest of the savings, and most likely, Bob’s benefits would have been tax-free.

In the case of long-term care, the results of no insurance can be even more devastating. Right now the average cost of a one-year stay in a nursing home is $45,000. In some parts of the country, like New York or California, it costs more. Not having any long-term care insurance can exhaust whatever money you have saved up.

The other excuse that I hear is that these are types of insurance that people never use. Remember that a 55-year-old worker has a 70- percent chance of becoming disabled for three months and that the odds of needing more than one year of long-term care for a 65-year- old are 1 in 33. Yes, there is a chance that if you purchase DI or LTC you will not use it. However, there is also a chance that you will need it. Which chance are you willing to accept? Don’t let the assumption that you will never need disability or long-term care insurance keep you from purchasing it. I haven’t met anyone yet who can predict the future, so how can you be sure that you won’t need it?

In the case of Bob and no DI, he still has time to go back to work, earn money and save for his retirement. But for many people needing long-term care, there isn’t that kind of time. Most of these people have already retired and aren’t earning any kind of income, except what may come in from their investments. And, most people aren’t earning in excess of $45,000 per year purely off of invest- ment income.

That’s why disability and long-term care insurance are so impor- tant. They protect you from the “what if ” scenarios. Plus, they pro- tect the assets you have already accumulated so that you don’t have to use them in an emergency. And really, that’s what insurance is all about: protection. When you listed your goals at the beginning of the book, did you list “have enough money?” Ask yourself, if you became disabled or were in need of some sort of long-term care, would you have enough money?

I don’t mean to scare you, but I do want you to think. Not pro- tecting yourself and your assets flies directly in the face of trying to accumulate wealth. You may say that by paying money for insurance,

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