• 70% of people turning 65 can expect to use some form of long-term care during their lives.
  • 90% of those who receive long-term care assistance live at home or in a community setting.


These stats are pretty sobering and yet most of us are not really prepared to have to pay for outside help for 10 or possibly 20 years during retirement.  In fact, many people believe assisted living is covered by Medicare.  57% of people surveyed said they plan to rely on Medicare to help pay for any senior care they might need.   However, while Medicare is available to help with short-term personal health coverage or pharmaceuticals, it is not available to pay for assisted living in most cases.  And Medicaid is only available to those who have depleted all of their assets.  In that same survey, 61% of respondents thought they would rely on Social Security to cover assisted living or other long-term care costs.  The reality is that most social security benefits will not be enough to cover all of the costs especially if you live in a metropolitan area like New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles.


So, how do you pay for home care or an assisted living facility?  For many people who have spent their whole lives saving for retirement, long-term care could wipe out their nest egg in a matter of a few years.  After all, according to a National Center for Assisted Living report, the median cost for assisted living in the United States is about $4,000 per month or $48,000 annually.   If you lived in a facility for five 10 years, that is almost 250k for one person.  In addition, there are usually upfront fees required when you move in and additional charges for certain hospitality or care services.


Long term care insurance is an option that can help you pay for some or all of these costs.  Many plans allow for payment to a home healthcare agency or an assisted living facility so you can choose the option that is best for you or your family member.  There are five major reasons to consider long term health insurance:


  1. To maintain independence so you won’t have to rely on family members.
  2. To protect your assets against the high costs of long-term care and preserve your children’s inheritance.
  3. To make long term care services such as home health care affordable.
  4. To provide you with more options than just nursing home care, and to pay for nursing home care if it’s needed.
  5. To preserve your standard of living.


The fact is that you have worked hard to plan for retirement but none of us know when something unexpected will happen to derail the best-laid plans.  The average life expectancy in the U.S. is now 79 years old which means that many of us will need some extra help as we age.   Long term care insurance may be the best way for you to maintain the lifestyle that you expect as you get older.


For more information, you can visit the following resources:


Health and Human Services

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Florida Association of Health Underwriters

Florida Government Health Finder

Women in Financial Services

Do Veterans Need Medicare?