Don’t Ignore the Possibility of Needing Long-term Care

(not used) therapyThe possibility of needing long-term care is an expensive proposition and should be included in your estate planning, according to CNBC in “This retirement expense has hit $100,000 annually–and it’s continuing to rise.”

The article highlights that a larger number of older adults will need specialized care and one of the problems is a shortage of skilled workers. Care expenses will rise with wage demands. Your best bet: start planning now for how you’d like to receive—and pay for—your care.

Overall, the rising cost of care has outpaced inflation. The CPI (Consumer Price Index) for all urban consumers was 2.1% for the first half of 2018. The annual median cost of a room at an assisted living facility grew faster, and even the cost of a shared room in a nursing care facility increased—by 4.11%.

Here’s a look at the most expensive places to seek care:

Aging in Alaska is the most expensive state, if you need to be in a nursing home. The annual median cost for a private room: $330,873, according to the Genworth study. An alternative might be assisted living facilities.  However, they offer less medical care or assistance. There’s also the option of having a home health care aide come to visit.

Home health care services cost the most in Hawaii, where patients pay an annual cost of $68,640 for just 44 hours a week of care at home. The growing demand for support services, is likely to push the cost of care even higher.

People planning to retire in five years or so, can prepare by working with a knowledgeable advisor. The first question is, where do you want to receive care? The next one is to plan for the worst-case situation, where you or a spouse need the care that only a skilled facility can provide.

The solution, if you can get coverage, may be a long-term care insurance policy, or a life insurance policy with a long-term care feature. The cost may be high but the costs you might incur without that coverage will be way higher.

Part of your planning should also include selecting trusted people, family or friends, who can be named to take over your financial matters (power of attorney) or medical care (health care power of attorney), should you become incapacitated, by illness or injury.

An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your unique circumstances and can include a plan to pay for long-term care.

Reference: CNBC (Oct. 20, 2018) “This retirement expense has hit $100,000 annually–and it’s continuing to rise”

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