Long-term care costs that drain your nest egg is a financial pothole that is hard to avoid. Here are some ideas to help manage this hazard.
How much money is needed?
Here’s how much money you’ll need for three different types of senior living arrangements according to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care Survey:
- In-home care: $4,957-$5,148 monthly; $59,484-$61,776 annually
- Community & assisted living: $1,690-$4,500 monthly; $20,280-$54,000 annually
- Nursing home facilities: $7,908-$9,034 monthly; $94,896-$108,408 annually
The traditional source of payment problems
Too many people think that Social Security, Medicare and health insurance will cover the costs of long-term care. While about half of adults age 50 and over believe that Medicare will cover the cost of long-term care services, according to an AARP survey, the reality is that Medicare provides very limited coverage for long-term care.
What you can do?
- Review long-term care insurance. While it’s hard to find a cost-effective policy, long-term care insurance helps pay for several types of services ranging from in-home care to nursing homes. It can be difficult to qualify for long-term care insurance, however. Policy underwriters require you to answer questions and possibly complete an exam to determine medical eligibility.
Some employers offer long-term care insurance that is purchased at group rates. If your company offers coverage, it may be a better alternative than purchasing a policy on your own.
- Take advantage of tax benefits. Long-term insurance premiums may be tax deductible. Tax-qualified polices are considered a medical expense and the premiums are listed as an itemized deduction. For more information, speak with an insurance agent specializing in long-term care policies as well as your tax professional.
- Research long-term care costs in your state. The cost of long-term care services varies by state, type of services required, and type of services preferred. Knowing the cost of long-term care available in your area is a good starting point in the planning process.
- Leverage life insurance. Certain life insurance policies with an early withdrawal for terminal illness or care needs can be an alternative to long-term care insurance. And if structured properly, it can also have tax-free status when used.
Before taking steps for your care as you age, please talk to qualified experts. While long-term care is costly, so is making the wrong decision on how you are going to fund it.