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Check Long-Term Care Insurance Policy Before Retiring Abroad

WhileRetired discussing how retiring abroad requires retirement planning, we mentioned that some retirees who leave the U.S. choose to continue paying Medicare premiums on order to retain that coverage.

Here is another issue you may not have considered if you are busy dreaming of morning walks on the beach: long-term care insurance. As the New York Times (NYT) notes in “How Retiring Abroad Can Affect Your Long-Term Care Insurance,” all of the benefits of your policy may not transfer abroad and you should be prepared for that ahead of time.

Long-term care insurance carriers vary in what they offer and some of these plans were not designed to accommodate a permanent residence abroad. This is something you will want to consider before you make that move. Some people already know that if they exceed the time limit for certain types of medical care, they will move back to the United States. However, you don’t want to be surprised to find out your coverage is ending and be unprepared to move.

If you already have a long-term-care insurance policy, the NYT recommends that you first examine your policy to see if there are such limits. If you don’t have one, you still have the opportunity to find one with the best overseas benefits possible—just be aware that such a policy is likely to be expensive.

One thing the NYT cautions against is canceling a long-term insurance policy you already have because you think the overseas coverage is lacking:

Be cautious about canceling a long-term-care policy because it may be difficult or impossible to purchase similar coverage if you change your mind. One option may be to reduce the level of benefits you are paying for.

A Fee-Only financial planner can help you decide if long-term care insurance is right for you and how such a policy would fit in with your plans to spend your retirement overseas.