planning

Smart Planning for Long-term Care

Seven out of 10 people age 65 and older will need long-term care in their lifetimes.

If you find yourself among the seven, then long-term care may be one of your biggest expenses in retirement.  Yet, have you considered the risk that these costs pose to your financial plans and preferred lifestyle in retirement?  If you answered “no,” you are not alone.  

The fact is many individuals do not sufficiently prepare for long-term care costs, and they underestimate the impact — not only to them, but also to their families.

Indeed, costs can be significant, especially over time.

For example, the median cost for a stay in a Virginia-based private nursing home room is $231 per day, or $84,315 a year.2  A single-occupancy, one-bedroom in an assisted living facility costs a median $3,990 per month, or $47,880 per year, in Virginia.2  The state’s median rate for a home health aide is $19 an hour, or $43,472 annually.2

Now consider that, on average, individuals need three years of long-term care, with women more likely to need four years.3    

To avoid outliving your savings or leaving less money for your loved ones, many industry experts recommend that individuals set aside savings of $250,000 to $500,000 to cover costs.  For many, that can have a big impact on their standard of living in retirement, and points toward the importance of putting plans in place that adequately cover the costs of care.   

The impact can extend beyond finances to affect health and wellbeing, lifestyle, and careers.  

Simply ask anyone who has provided support to an aging loved one about the realities of long-term care’s impact.    

Statistically, many people with chronic health conditions receive long-term care support at home by family or friends.  As such, family caregivers find themselves juggling responsibilities as they work to meet the ongoing demands that come with caring for loved ones – an especially challenging task when attempting to coordinate care from across the country.  Despite their good intentions, it ultimately can take a toll on family caregivers’ health and wellbeing.

Planning now puts you in control later.

The first step is to learn the facts about long-term care and its associated costs.  Then, plan for these costs as part of your retirement strategy.

The good news is that proactively planning now – before you find yourself in need of long-term care – provides you with several benefits, including the flexibility to choose the services you want, from the providers you prefer, later on.  Planning ahead also puts you in a strong position to ensure that you and your spouse have the resources needed to cover and coordinate your care if the need arises — better protecting you and your family from the potentially devastating impact of long-term care costs.  In fact, a solid long-term care plan may be the greatest gift you give to your loved ones, and yourself.