It can be a great way to protect your heirs – or a giant waste of your savings. Here’s how to tell which. It’s not alarmist to think that you’ll need long-term care in your lifetime. Among Americans who reach their 65th birthday, 45% will have to pay for some kind of long-term-care services. Still the decision whether to buy a long-term-care insurance policy is one of the toughest calls you’ll ever have to make.