One of the most daunting expenses that senior citizens will be facing later in their lives is that of long-term care, and make no mistake about it: These costs are significant, and they are expected to continue to rise.
According to the annual MetLife Mature Market Institute survey, a year living in an assisted living facility in the United States in 2010 would run you nearly $40,000. The same period of time residing in a nursing home would carry a price tag of $83,500 on average. The United States Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 70% of people who reach the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care eventually, be it in-home or at an external facility, so yes…this could happen to you.
There are a handful of ways that people typically address these costs and we will share a few of them here.
Veterans Aid & Attendance Pension
People who have served a minimum of 90 days in the military with at least one of them taking place during a time of war meet the length of service requirement for the Veterans Aid and Attendance pension. To qualify medically you must need assistance tending to your day-to-day needs – things like washing, eating, dressing, etc. A single veteran can receive up to $1,632 per month.
Though Medicare will not pay for long-term care expenses, Medicaid will under certain circumstances. Though there are maximum income and asset ceilings set by state law, many people are surprised when they find out that they can qualify for Medicaid and still retain many of their most valuable possessions, including their homes under some circumstances.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-term care insurance is an option as well, but there’s a Catch-22 involved with this form of coverage. It is rather expensive no matter when you obtain it, but the younger you are when you purchase it the more affordable it is. Of course the younger you are the less likely it is that you will be using it anytime soon, so the wise course of action is to do your research, evaluate your long-term budget, and weigh the pros and cons.