How to Minimize Long-Term-Care Premiums

Choosing the right benefit period plays a big role in how much you'll pay for coverage.

A smiling young woman kneels beside a smiling older woman and holds her hands at a health care facility.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

How long is the average stay at a nursing home and at an assisted-living facility? That information would help me determine how much risk to take in my investments and how much insurance coverage I'll need.

That's a great question. The answer can help you decide if you need long-term-care insurance and, if so, how much coverage to get. It can also help you figure out good strategies for minimizing your premiums.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.