By Colleen Gillespie, CTFA, AIF®
As part of our comprehensive planning process, we look at all possible expenses that could derail your financial peace. One of the conversations we have is around long-term care and the need for significant assets for care should you or your family member experience a chronic or prolonged illness. There are certainly a variety of care options available, from bringing in-home care, to assisted living, to skilled nursing care should an illness require advanced medical services. There are no right or wrong choices, only the best choice for you and your family. But what’s the best use of your assets? Should you set aside funds to pay for this possible expense, or should you consider buying a long-term care insurance policy?
To give an idea of the sums of money that could be consumed by long-term care, particularly the most expensive option of skilled nursing care (nursing home), we looked for recent stats. The average daily cost of a nursing home in Washington is currently $266, higher than the national average of $228. According to the National Care Planning Council, as of June 2018, the average length of stay in a nursing home is 835 days (2.29 years).
Using the worst-case scenario and these numbers, the math comes to $222,110 for an average stay in a nursing home in Washington State. That’s a chunk of change for anyone, regardless of your ability to pay! And according to the 2015 Genworth Financial cost of care survey, the average cost of assisted living in Washington is $4,625 per month, or $55,500 annually, depending on where you reside.
We invited Bruce Bamford from Bamford Long Term Care Financial Services to share his vast knowledge of the long-term care insurance industry, and the evolution of this type of insurance. Please see his article in this issue of the Sawston Sentinel.
Our message to you is to give serious thought and planning to this issue. Genetics plays an important role in determining our future health, but financial considerations will come into play as well. Take a look at our list of questions to consider and let us know if we can be of any assistance in helping you wrestle with this important planning concern. If you would like us to get you long-term insurance quotes, we can facilitate that for you.