Help Me Retire: We’re 65 and 69 with no long-term-care insurance. We want to self-insure — but how do we do that?

by | Oct 17, 2023 | Stock Market

Dear MarketWatch,  We are truly fortunate to have a lifetime inflation-adjusted federal pension and Social Security of $200,000 annually. We’re a 65-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman. Our income roughly breaks out to $125,000 and $75,000, respectively.   We did not take advantage of spousal survivor benefits when we retired years ago, which seemed like a good idea at the time. So our plan was always to self-insure our long-term care and spousal survivor needs. We would like some help with how to plan for the future. 

We have also amassed $1.5 million, half in IRA and thrift savings plans and the other half, which came from the sale of our real-estate assets, in a taxable brokerage account. Our financial adviser has us striving for a 5.5% return on the taxable account. We really don’t need or intend to tap these funds, since our pensions cover more than our needs and allow for our three to six months of travel per year. We have no debt or mortgage and pay our credit cards off monthly.   One main question is, how much should we set aside, if anything, for long-term care? In looking at long-term-care policies in the past, the maximum payout was around $360,000. We thought that was the right amount to target.   We have a life-insurance policy for th …

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