The rising costs of long-term care are relevant to anyone who is planning for the future, but just how likely is it that you will ever need this kind of care?
In addition, once you reach the age of 65 there’s a 50-50 chance that you will live beyond the age of 85. When both a husband and wife reach the age of 65 is as likely as not that one of them will live beyond the age of 92. At any given time one in four senior citizens age 85 and over are residing in nursing homes, and the average stay is about 2 1/2 years.
So when you look at these numbers the reality is that there’s a very good possibility that you will someday require long-term care. According to a MetLife Mature Market Institute survey, the average cost of residing in an assisted living community in the United States in 2010 rose by 5.2% to $39,500 per year. The cost of a private room in a nursing home rose 4.6% to $83,500 annually. The average in Connecticut is #120,000.
Depending on your resources expenses such as these can have a serious impact on your legacy goals and your overall financial footing during the latter stages of your life. Medicare does not cover long-term care, but many seniors can qualify for Medicaid which does pick up these costs.
There are limits to the assets that you can retain, but you may be surprised when you find out just how much you can keep while still qualifying for Medicaid. The healthy spouse is entitled to his or her half of the couple’s assets up to $109,000, and aside from that the healthy spouse’s home, car, and personal possessions are not considered to be “countable” assets.
Utilizing Medicaid as part of your end-of-life planning can provide a solution, but it is something that involves a number of legal intricacies and is best engaged in with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney.