Planning for retirement? Don’t forget to plan for long-term care costs!

Published on Wed, 08/13/2014 - 18:54

Did you know that 70 percent of us will need some type of chronic care after age 65?

It’s a sobering statistic. With baby boomers retiring in record numbers, the need for long-term care services is at an all-time high and growing every day.

The cost can be even more sobering.

For instance, just one year in a private room in a nursing home will cost you about $84,000 according to Genworth Financial. Nationwide, we spend around $725 billion on chronic illness every year according to a report by Prudential called The 5 Ws of Chronic Illness Care.

So who’s paying for all of this long-term care?

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • $7 billion paid by private long-term care insurance
  • $10 billion paid by veterans, state, and local chronic care programs
  • $64 billion by Medicare
  • $130 billion by Medicaid
  • $63 billion paid by families in out-of-pocket expenses
  • $450 billion paid by families in the form of caregiving

Did you notice those last two statistics?

Families are shouldering the majority of long-term care costs. Families pay more than insurance, state and local care programs, and the federal government combined!

According to a PBS NEWSHOUR article, nearly nine out of 10 Americans needing long-term care get it from family members. But sadly, many families simply don’t have a long-term solution for covering the costs of that care.

When you consider the rise in long-term care needs, skyrocketing medical costs, and the fact that long-term chronic care is one of the biggest worries for retirees, you would think LTC would be a part of everyone’s financial planning. But according to the Congressional Research Service, just over 10 percent of Americans aged 55 or older buy long-term care insurance for themselves.

The fact is, long-term care is more expensive than most people realize – and with the limited coverage provided by programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, many retirees are finding out too late what kind of financial burden LTC can cause for their families. For more information about average costs and some statistics, visit

With family caregivers taking on greater care responsibilities, the last thing you and your family need is the financial stress of seeing your precious retirement resources swallowed up by long-term care costs.

Don’t deny yourself this peace of mind in your retirement years.

The odds are pretty good that you’ll need long-term care at some point in your life. Long-term care insurance is your best defense against losing everything you’ve worked for. In addition to preserving your nest egg, long-term care insurance can help you:

  • Maintain control and choice of where you receive your care
  • Maintain your independence and quality of life by receiving care in your own home
  • Relieve your family members of the financial and emotional burden of providing care
  • Avoid unnecessary stress on family relationships

When you’re planning for your retirement years, don’t forget to include long-term care insurance in the mix. For more information, talk to the financial planning experts at Heffernan Insurance Brokers.