Et tu, Brute? Who is buying long term care insurance? Women.

Why Won't the Insurance Company Talk to Me?

Not exactly a shocker that women are more likely to buy long term care insurance (particularly single women and women with no children). Women are most likely to be care givercs (still) and so they are the ones who have lived thru the ravages of caring for a parent or aunt. They “get it”…in the vernacular.  They “get” the fact that care is expensive if you have to pay for it. They “get” the fact that family pay the price for care if there isn’t enough money to pay for care – daughters in particular are highly likely to quit jobs, go to part-time work and any number of other financial negatives to try to help an aging relative stay out of the dreaded “nursing home.”  On top of this, women often suffer from “care giver syndrome,” a combination of physical ailments and emotional/mental exhaustion from being a full-time caregiver.   I hear very few women who say, “Oh, I think my family can take care of me.” Most will say vehemently, “I will not put that burden on my family!”

What is strange is that men need care only slightly less than women. Data from AALTCI ( showed that in a 2014 survey of 1000 individuals, men and women were very close in their percentages of utilizing home health care (note this is not a claim on a policy – this is true home health care services). Note that men and women are about on par in terms of percentage of use below at every age up to 80. The difference after age 80 is probably due to women outliving men.

Age 61 to 65 Age 71- 75 After age 80
Women 3.5% 7.6% 66%
Men 6.3% 5.1% 60%


Clearly men should be buying long term care insurance as much as women given that they need care just about as oftencc. I think, however, that until men become care givers and have the chance to personally “get” how devastating care can be, they will be reluctant to purchase. No amount of data is going to make a healthy 50 year old male believe that at 85 he will be frail and incontinent!   And yet….time and gravity will take us places we never wanted to go….

So, maybe it is time to help “Brute” – our dear male friends and family – to wise up. Buying insurance isn’t a betrayal of financial responsibility to the family – it is actually a very loving and fiscally responsible thing to do to make sure that the largest person in the house (the man) isn’t being cared for by the smallest and frailest person in the house (the wife).


Part 1- Long Term Care,  The Basics


Handing Down the Kingdom – A Plan for Aging Well

Handing Down the Kingdom

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