"Life insurance becomes less important to you because your obligations have been met," Horner says. "The bigger risk is about needing long-term care at some point. Any assets you accumulate and any retirement you put away -- all those assets are at risk."
If you don't have long-term care insurance, you'll have to pay for your own care -- until you've exhausted your resources and qualify for Medicaid, the federal and state program for low-income families and elderly and disabled adults. Medicaid pays for long-term care at Medicaid-certified nursing homes.
Having enough long-term care insurance or enough savings to pay for care on your own gives you more choice in the type of treatment you can receive and where you want to receive it. Very wealthy people may not need to purchase long-term care insurance because they can afford to pay for their own care. Here's more about self-insuring for long-term care.
Those who lack adequate funds typically rely instead on family members and Medicaid. The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education says you probably can't afford long-term care insurance if your assets, other than a home, are less than $30,000 as a single person or $80,000 as a couple.