The question whether or not to purchase long term care insurance is one I hear from my clients often!  It's a hard issue for many as most wait until their 60's or beyond before pondering the question.  The ideal time to begin to think about long term care insurance is in your 50's!  This is optimum for ensuring a premium that is much more affordable.

This article makes the case for self-insurance.  As the numbers bear out, the case is quite appealing!  However, this approach requires the discipline to ensure the money that would have gone to long term care premiums goes into the investment earmarked for self insurance.  If most folks had that type of discipline, whole life insurance would become extinct!

So what's the answer?  This author says:  

"So what most people face is an impossible choice. Realistically, most won’t save for their long-term care needs despite Ms. Thakor’s advice (many won’t even save enough for healthy retirement). Yet, they won’t buy LTC insurance either, and for the most part can’t buy catastrophic coverage even if they want to. That means yet another generation unprepared and likely with nowhere to turn but Medicaid."

 Unfortunately, I agree.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/howardgleckman/2014/02/17/should-you-self-insure-against-long-term-care-risk-or-buy-insurance/