Genworth Financial provides a handy tool for evaluating the cost of LTC in your area. If this is the first time you’ve looked into it, you’ll find the numbers pretty frightening; and even if you checked it out in the past, you may be shocked by the latest figures.
For example, in 2017, the average nursing-home charge in the Milwaukee area was nearly $111,000 for a semi-private room, and more than $132,000 for a private room. And these costs are currently rising by 2% and 4% per year, respectively.
Think it won't affect you? Think again: According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, “The lifetime probability of becoming disabled in at least two activities of daily living or of being cognitively impaired is 68% for people age 65 and older.” That means there’s a good chance most of us will need some level of LTC assistance.
Nevertheless, relatively few have given much thought to how they'd pay for it.
Of those who have considered the possibility, some plan to cover it with their own funds – a great plan for those with millions in the bank.
Others figure that the government will take care of them. But that sort of help begins only after you’ve depleted almost all your own resources. And then there’s the issue of finding a bed set aside for what is, for the providers, a losing proposition; I know people who have been in desperate search of government-sponsored LTC beds. And we baby boomers haven’t even begun to be a factor in the rationing that’s sure to come.
Still others purchase private LTC insurance policies. They’re not cheap, but for those of us of modest means, it may be the only solution that makes sense.
If you have any concerns about how you’ll survive your golden years financially, I hope you'll take a serious look at the alternatives sooner rather than later.