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Investing Specialists

A Crash Course in Long-Term Care

What retirees need to know, before they need it.

If you've helped an elderly friend or relative find and figure out how to pay for long-term care, or you've done so yourself, you likely confronted a bewildering maze of unfamiliar terms as well as extreme financial complexity.

What's the right type of care given the person's needs? What type of care is covered by Medicare? When does your private insurance--either health or long-term care insurance--pick up the slack? And what expenses must be paid out of your own coffers? Can a spouse hang on to any assets before Medicaid kicks in and provides coverage for long-term care needs?