Do you have any idea what the average nursing home costs where you live? Do you want to know? Are you prepared to pay a huge sum of money for one, two, maybe three years or more in a nursing home or assisted-living facility?
These are difficult questions to answer, for many reasons. One, we can’t predict how healthy, or unhealthy, we will be ten years from now. Furthermore, as the current economic situation illustrates, we may even have a hard time predicting our own financial well-being. What used to be considered relatively stable – our earnings, home values and net worth – has undergone massive changes. Just a year ago we may not have thought twice about the notion of selling our home to pay for any long term health care issues. Now we’re lucky if that home still has some semblance of value!
The American Association of Retired Persons website states that the average cost of a nursing home stay is roughly $50,000 a year. This is an optimistic number. Matter of fact, recent studies indicate the average cost is actually more like $70,000 a year, or nearly $192 a day! Of course, this number is going to vary widely depending on where you live; but nonetheless, it’s a scary number to think about, and it is real, very real.
If we consider the average length of stay in a nursing home, which is roughly 2.5 years, that equals almost $170,000…in just TWO AND HALF YEARS. Let’s do the math…wait, we don’t need to. But what we do need to do is stop assuming that paying for such services is within easy reach. We can’t depend on medicare or medicaid to pay for these costs either, as both have several limitations that may hinder the amount of costs covered in a nursing, or assisted-living facility.
What are the options than? How should the average person cover the average nursing home cost? First, take a hard look your current net wealth and try, to the best of your ability, predict how this is going to change in the next 10-20. It may also be time to look into long term care insurance, which, unlike medicare medicaid services, does cover costs of a nursing home (as well as assisted-living facilities.)
The internet is full of helpful resources on this topic. Do your research though and speak with an experienced and reliable representative.