Preparing for Long-Term Care
Retirement should be about enjoying the years you have left without worrying about money or the ability to take care of yourself. As you age your physical body will start to deteriorate and it is an unfortunate fact of life, but the years of fun and/or stress all take a toll, and in the end, we will get slower and weaker as the years go by. You can delay it as much as possible by living a healthy life and looking after yourself, but you can’t cheat time. After all, none of us are getting out of this life alive.
The research found that most older Americans will need assistance as they get older. And it isn’t just a small amount of help we are talking about. DHHS statistics show that today’s 65-year-olds have a 70 percent chance of needing long-term care services at some point.
David Neuwirth / Senior Vice President says, "Don’t wait until your health needs demand immediate long-term care. Make sure you have all of your financial information at hand including all your tax returns and insurance information. The more prepared you are the easier it will be to get the care you need and take the pressure off yourself and your family in a time of crisis.”
Data shows that close to 70 percent of older Americans will need long-term care services for three years. Even more scary is the fact that 20 percent of us will need it for five years or longer after we reach 65.
If you did need long-term care and were not prepared it can really make a dent in your pocket. If Medicare stops coverage the average daily cost of skilled care in the state of Pennsylvania is over $480! A nursing home resident will be out of pocket over $14,000 a month. Over 5 years at $168,000 a year that is an eye-watering $840,000.
Each state has different costs but according to data from the insurance firm Genworth Financial, the national average costs for long-term care in 2020 were as follows:
- Nursing homes cost an average of $293 per day or $8,821 per month for a private room.
- Home health aides work out at an average of $150 per day ($24 hourly). This could cost you $4,576 per month or $54,912 for the whole year.
Making sure you can get long-term care is important. If you don’t you could end up in a very bad way physically, but if you don't manage to get the care and it isn’t covered or there is a gap in your financial preparedness you could end up with serious bills to deal with. While there are many folks who believe that Medicare will take care of them from 65 onwards the reality is that Medicare is meant to cover short-term medical procedures. Long-term nursing home stays are generally not covered. If the patient satisfies certain strict medical requirements, they can receive up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility under Medicare. The fact is that Medicare will not take care of you from the age of 65 through the rest of your days no matter what.
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