Originally Posted by martyp
I think most people spend 1-3 years in a nursing home. You can do the premium math and figure out if you want to take the risk to self insure. However, you can choose to self insure but then you have to be willing to put the money aside for just this purpose. And then again . . . this is true for all types of insurance.
Yes and no. Our plan for self insurance is to use our home equity. We have a paid for home that is worth quite a bit (High COLA coastal area in a good school boundary). If one person goes into LTC - the community spouse can downsize to a house or condo that costs HALF - and fund several years. If BOTH of us go into a LTC situation - we no longer need a house at all - and the entire equity is up for grabs.
Plus - stating the obvious (to me) here... In LTC you no longer have budget items for food, utilities, auto (insurance, gas, etc.) So some of your other budget items free up to be applied to LTC. It's not a huge savings - but it's part of what can be used to pay for the LTC.
Where this scheme falls apart is if there is a LONG and TEMPORARY LTC situation. That is pretty rare, IMO, where someone would go into LTC for a year or more, but not be there permanently. We have enough emergency fund/slush fund moneys to cover a partial year for uninsured expense for a few month stay - say after a broken hip.
This is an unusual situation where having an illiquid asset like my home can help me in retirement planning/spending. (I can't count it for withdrawal rate - but I fell very comfortable counting the equity in my LTC self insurance.)