Can You Afford Long-Term Care?

woman holding old woman's arm while she sits in wheelchair

Long-term care costs can be staggering where at-home care or a nursing facility can easily wipe out a year’s retirement income. Most people grossly underestimate the financial impact. It’s imperative you have a plan in place to deal with these long-term care expenses.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has compiled some interesting statistics about long-term care:

  • A person turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and support in their remaining years.
  • Women need care longer (3.7 years) than men (2.2 years).
  • Twenty percent of Americans over 65 will need long-term care for longer than 5 years.
  • Upon reaching age 65, you have a 40% chance of entering a nursing home with a 20% chance of staying for at least 5 five years.
  • More than 80% of those who need long-term care will get help at home while 18% will reside in a nursing home.

Long-Term Care Costs

Those receiving care at home can expect to pay an average of $46,332 annually for a home health aide while a semi-private room in a nursing home will cost nearly $90,000, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. This is more than double the 2015 median income of $38,515 for households 65 and older. And, for a private room in a senior health care facility, the annual cost is over $100,000.

Medicare Won’t Help

Medicare covers medical expenses for those 65 and older. It does not pay for long-term or personal care. However, if a Medicare recipient has been an inpatient in a hospital for at least three days, it will pay a portion of the costs for up to 100 days at a nursing facility if the person is admitted there within 30 days of the hospital stay.


If you meet certain low income and asset limits, Medicaid would cover long-term care services. Eligibility and coverage vary state-to-state.


There are some long-term care insurance policies available. However, they are expensive and have restrictions.

The average annual premium for a 55-year-old couple is just over $3,000 in 2019, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. Premiums are higher for those over 55 and a chronic illness likely would lead to rejection.

Hybrid insurance has become popular recently. According to NerdWallet, this is usually a combination of life insurance and annuities and requires an upfront sum of as much $100,000 that could be paid in installments over several years.

Have a Plan in Place

It’s critical to have a financial, health, and estate plan in place should you or your loved one requires long-term care. Being proactive can help make a difficult situation a little easier.

Don’t have a health or estate family plan? Find out how we can help at We provide a simple and affordable way to create a health and estate family plan.

Don’t wait until it’s too late; start your estate planning journey with Gentreo today. By doing so, you’ll not only protect your loved ones but also gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing your legacy is secure.  Click here to join now.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult with a qualified attorney or estate planning professional for personalized guidance.



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