Long-Term Care Planning: Assessing Your Need

by Matthew Karr, Esq. on June 6, 2013

The life expectancy rate in America has never been higher and celebrating your 80th, 90th, or even 100th birthday is becoming increasingly likely. But with a longer life comes an increased need for services, including long-term care. Providing long-term care places an enormous emotional and physical strain on your loved ones. However, by planning ahead you can ensure that your family will be able to care about you, and not for you, for as long as you need.

The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 70% of people who reach age 65 will require long-term care services at some point in their lives. 17% of seniors will need care for less than one year, 12% for 1-2 years, 20% for 2-5 years and 20% for more than 5 years.

With this increased need for care comes an increased cost. Paying out of pocket for long-term care services in Massachusetts routinely tops over $120,000 per year, and the cost of care is only rising. Double that for a couple, project for five years and you are already over $1million in care costs.

It sounds scary, but the fact is that by planning ahead you can protect your home and other hard-earned assets from this potentially devastating financial event. When should you start planning? Well, you will never be younger or healthier than you are today. Waiting until care is actually needed usually means it is too late for many estate planning options.

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