The cost of long-term care (LTC) services really didn’t go up all that quickly last year.

So, on the one hand: hurray!

On the other hand: I spent the past two days trying to understand a brisket rather than trying to understand long-term care insurance (LTCI).

One hard truth I learned is that, if you cook a big brisket for four hours, at the relatively low temperature of 275 degrees, right next to a refrigerator, that’s not good for the contents of the refrigerator.

Another hard truth I learned is that, if you put a giant brisket that seems somewhat warm but not that warm inside the refrigerator, that’s also not good for the contents of the refrigerator.

A little bit of slow heat that goes on for a long, long time can do bad things to the adjacent casserole.

Of course, slow inflation in LTC costs can be as dangerous to families’ financial planning as a brisket can be to a casserole.

The slow heat from a brisket can cause a hole in the offerings on a holiday dinner table.

The slow heat from LTC cost inflation can lead to holes in the resources that were supposed to pay for little extras, legacies for children and donations to charity — or even holes in the resources for getting the care you want, where you want it.

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