Our call center phone rang and she said: “I want to buy a long-term care insurance policy” before I could even answer the phone with my traditional greeting. Very few people call and are ready to purchase immediately. I noticed she was already in our system and had previously called. We had sent her a quote and application 14 months ago, but she never completed it – and several attempts were made to contact her but she never returned our calls. We closed the file 10 months ago.
So I asked directly: “Why didn’t you apply last year?” Suddenly I thought we were disconnected because it sounded like an empty church! I asked again: “Linda, are you there?”…. after another pause she explained that 8 months ago she had fallen down some stairs and she was now in a wheelchair. She already had 3 major surgeries. Doctors said she would unfortunately never walk again.
She was 37 years old and permanently disabled and thus would never qualify for long-term care insurance. As I explained that she would not be able to ever get a policy she began to cry. She told me that her financial advisor suggested she wait until she was 60 years old before she applied for coverage so that is why she didn’t purchase a policy last year.
I’ve never met a financial advisor with a crystal ball. I am sad to say this story is not unique. There is not a magic age to purchase long-term care insurance. When is the best time to buy? Once you understand you are financially exposed to this risk and you can afford the coverage, that is when you apply to get your policy!