Aging is a fact of life and it comes with certain realities. While most of us probably don’t want to picture ourselves eventually needing help with daily activities, more than half of Americans turning 65 today will need some type of long-term care during their remaining years.1 As this type of care is not generally covered by private health insurance or Medicare, it’s important to create a plan to help protect yourself and your family from the financial and emotional impact of a possible long-term care event.
What is long-term care?
Long-term care encompasses a variety of services that assist those who can no longer perform everyday activities on their own. These activities, known as activities of daily living (ADLs), include dressing, eating, and bathing. A chronic illness or a physical impairment can lead to a need for long-term care, but it’s most commonly needed as the result of a cognitive issue, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Care services can be provided in the home, a community setting, or a facility such as a nursing home.
How much does long-term care cost?
On average, women need about 2.5 years of long-term care and men an average of 1.5 years.2 The national average for a home health aide is $23.27 per hour (so for example, 20 hours of care per week would cost more than $24,000 per year), while a private room in a nursing home averages $103,660 per year.3
Long-term care costs can quickly add up and can have a significant impact on your retirement and the assets you’ve worked so hard to accumulate. Understanding the various long-term care planning options available is critical to helping you put a plan in place to ensure you have access to the type of care you prefer while protecting your finances.
How to plan for long-term care
Depending on your age, health, means and needs, there are several ways to address long-term care.
Long-term care planning options:
When to start planning for long-term care
Health and age are key factors used in determining eligibility and rates for private long-term care solutions, so it’s best to explore these options when you are in your 40s and 50s.
It’s never too soon to start planning for long-term care. The peace of mind you’ll have knowing you’re protecting your family and retirement can be an important benefit of creating a plan, even if you elect to just protect part of your risk with a smaller amount of coverage. Take the first step and contact a New York Life agent to help you find a solution that best suits your needs.
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1 2Melissa Favreault and Judith Dey, “Long-term services and supports for older Americans: Risks and financing research brief,” Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, February 2016
3Long-term care costs by state and region,” New York Life Insurance Company, 2018
The purpose of this material is solicitation of individual insurance. An insurance agent may contact you. Policy forms LTCD PLCY (FL)(0218), LTCDNC PLCY (FL) (0218), LTCDNC-U PLCY (FL) (0218), LTCD-U PLCY (FL) (0218), LTCWP PLCY (FL) (0218), LTCWPNC PLCY (FL) (0218), LTCWPNC-U PLCY (FL) (0218), LTCWP-U PLCY (FL) (0218), LTC6.1 (FL), and any state-specific, are issued by New York Life Insurance Company, New York, NY. These products have exclusions and limitations. Underwriting approval is required to purchase coverage and a medical exam may be required. The company reserves the right to increase premiums in the future. For cost and complete details of the coverage, contact your agent or the company. To be eligible for long-term care benefits, the insured must be a chronically ill individual, with qualified long-term care service provided pursuant to a plan of care prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner.