Planning for Quality Care and Independence
Plan to live your best life
We are living longer. Back in 1935, when Social Security was introduced, the average 65-year-old received benefits for a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.1 Today, about one out of every four 65-year-olds will live past age 90.2
While we cherish the idea of leading long, full and productive lives, we also must acknowledge the possibility of facing additional challenges as we live well into our 80s and 90s. Studies suggest that nearly 70% of those over age 65 will need some type of long-term care for three years, and 20% will need care for more than five years.3
As baby boomers and subsequent generations diligently plan and save for retirement, it’s important to understand how simply living a long life can impact your income, health and quality of life.
How Much Does Long-term Care Cost?
In 2018, the median annual national cost for care in an assisted living community was $48,000. A private room in a full-time skilled nursing care facility cost an average of $275 a day – more than $100,000 a year.4 When you combine the cost of two spouses living in two different housing situations for multiple years, you can see that housing expenses alone would run quite high. So much so that they can drain a retirement account very quickly. Perhaps that’s why 85% of retirees who need long-term care depend exclusively on family and friends.5
Why You May Need A Long-term Care Plan
Health insurance, whether provided by a private company or through Medicare, does not pay for long-term care. Coverage is limited to acute care associated with a short-term illness or injury, such as recovery or rehabilitation.
Medicaid will cover long-term care costs, but only for people of extremely low means who meet eligibility requirements. People who qualify for Medicaid assistance do not typically get to select the facility that provides their care.
This is why you should consider creating a specific funding plan for the likelihood that one or both spouses will need long-term care. For a true long-term care plan, you need an insurance plan that offers coverage for years – not months.
Today, there are different ways to plan for long-term care. Therefore, it is important to work with your financial advisor to develop a plan for your situation.
1 SocialSecurity.gov. Life Expectancy for Social Security, 2012.
2 SSA.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html (2019)
3 LongTermCare.gov, “How Much Care Will You Need?,” February 2017. https://longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics/how-much-care-will-you-need.html
4 Genworth Financial, Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey.
5 National Alliance for Caregiving in collaboration with AARP; “Caregiving in the United States,” June 2015.
Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company. Long Term Care Insurance or Asset Based Long Term Care Insurance Products may not be suitable for all investors. Surrender charges may apply for early withdrawals and, if made prior to age 59 ½, may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty in addition to any gains being taxed as ordinary income. Please consult with a licensed financial professional when considering your insurance options.