How Much Does Long-Term Care Cost?

Retirement Planning

How Much Does Long-Term Care Cost?

Posted by COTO Insurance & Financial Services
3 years ago | October 8, 2018

As you plan for retirement, you have many different issues to consider. While you might focus on your options to generate income, considering how that income will be spent is the other side of the coin that many people forget. Unexpected expenses can and do pop up during retirement. And while we hope it never happens to you, a significant and serious health problem (or accident) becomes more likely as we get older.

Part of your planning should revolve around the cost of medical care. But aside from copayments and medications, we should all confront the reality of long-term care. Most people don’t know that Medicare offers only very limited coverage for specialized nursing care, and for a short period of time. Beyond that time frame, the cost of a nursing home, assisted living, or in-home care will fall on you.

How likely is it that you would need specialized care for an extended period of time? According to LongTermCare.gov, someone turning 65 today will stand a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term care and support in their lifetime. Men will need this type of care for an average of 2.2 years, while women need an average of 3.7 years of nursing care. Twenty percent of seniors will require long-term care for more than 5 years.

Your next question might be, “How much does long-term care cost?” The answer will depend upon the type of care received (traditional nursing home, assisted living, or in-home care), the level of care needed, and even your geographical region. In areas with a higher cost of living in general, most types of nursing care are also more expensive. But let’s take a look at some national averages, according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey (2017):

  • A semi-private room in a nursing home costs $7,148 per month
  • A private room in a nursing home costs $8,121 per month
  • An assisted living facility costs $3,750 per month
  • A home health aide costs $4,099 per month

Again, these figures are just averages and can vary somewhat depending upon the factors listed above. But they are good numbers to keep in mind as you plan for the future. A comprehensive retirement income plan should account for the possibility of long-term care, for at least several years of your later life.

We have ways of helping you prepare for this potential expense. Let’s talk about it at your next appointment, so we can ensure that your retirement plan accounts for this major life event.

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