Money in the Middle

Sandwich Generation Talking About Money Up, Down and Across Generations

How much does long-term care cost? It all depends.

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As part of the sandwich generation you need to plan for your future long-term care costs as well as the long-term care costs you might have to help pay for an older family member now. And these costs are big!

 If you are planning on moving in retirement or moving a loved one closer to you for long-term care, data just released by Genworth Financial can help you in the planning process.

 How different are prices for long-term care?  Here’s a comparison for a year in a private room in a nursing home:

  • Illinois – $56,028
  • Arizona – $70,263
  • New York – $104,062
  • Florida – $71,175

 No wonder more of us are seeking to stay at home for care.  But the cost can still be significant.  And with more of us planning to work longer to shore up our own cracked nest-egg, taking off work to provide care for a family member isn’t necessarily a choice.

 The top 10 states for nursing home care affordability and choice are:

Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Wyoming and Louisiana.

 Generally, the east and west coast have higher costs for care than the Midwest.  Availability of care is another issue.  Some areas with a high concentration of people 65 plus offer less choice and result in higher prices because the demand exceeds the care that is available.

 An interactive map that shows how much the average cost of care is in each state. And  there is a nifty tool that lets you compare costs of care across four areas.

 The average cost for a private nursing home room is $74,208 or $203 per day.  An assisted living facility runs about $33,903.  Home health care runs $53.59 nationally, or $12,862 per year (assuming 5 days of care per week).

 More shocking are the projections of what it could cost in 30 years $270,00 per year for a nursing home stay  and $220,000 for assisted living facility in 40 years..  

 The report also noted that more people are choosing to receive care at home initially.  Genworth said 74% of its initial claims are for long term care service received at home

The average cost for a non-Medicare certified, state licensed home health aid is $18.50.

 These costs demonstrate why long-term care planning is an important part of any financial plan.  Estimates are that two-thirds of people 65 and older will need some long-term care during their lifetime.  Long-term care is generally not covered by Medicare, so you are left to pay for it yourself, qualify (spend down your assets) to receive Medicaid or look to a long-term care insurance policy to pay the costs.

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Written by Laura Rossman

May 1, 2009 at 2:42 pm

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