Advances in public health, nutrition, and medicine have raised the average life expectancy to nearly 78 years. And those who live to the age of 65 can expect to live until they are nearly 83. While living longer, healthier lives is unquestionably a positive evolution in the human experience, the consequences of a longer life can be felt in unexpected ways.
In previous decades, one could anticipate living a decade or less post-retirement. Now that we are living longer, the money set aside for the twilight of our life just doesn't get us as far as we need -- or as comfortably as we would like. Retirement savings can be further drained by the high probability, at least 70 percent, that if you reach the age of 65 you will need some form of long-term care services.
The costs of long-term care services are colossal.
If you need nursing care, you can pay close to $80,000 per year. Assisted Living and Home Health costs range from $40,000 and $60,000 per year.
How Can I Pay?
- Long-term care insurance: For a premium ranging from $80-$300 per month, a healthy individual can purchase a policy that will cover an extended stay at a long-term care facility. Not all policies are created equal and it is important to make an informed decision.
- Medicare covers long-term care in a skilled nursing facility, but since its coverage lasts just 100 days, it is not an effective payment strategy for long-term care.
- Medicaid is a federal-state hybrid program designed to aid individuals in need of inpatient, comprehensive medical services. Individuals must meet asset, income, and eligibility standards. Medicaid eligibility is onerous to attain, but provides the full cost of care.
- VA offers an Aid and Attendance benefit to veterans and spouses who served honorably during a wartime period and are in need of daily assistance to avoid the everyday hazards of his or her environment. Many veterans are unaware that this benefit exists.
How Can I Plan?
Abraham Lincoln said that if he was given six hours to chop down a tree, he would spend the first four sharpening his axe. Planning and preparing for financing the final few decades of your life need not be burdensome and confusing. Every situation is unique and there are solutions aplenty.
Utah Senior Planning offers a free consultation to discuss issues relating to long-term care planning and have licensed insurance brokers, V.A. Accredited attorneys, and a financial planner to secure the best possible outcome for you and your family.