The Elrod Firm


How Can I Prepare For Long-term Care?

Justin, I just read an article that says 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point. That’s a little bit terrifying to me. What can I do to be ready so I don’t lose everything trying to pay for it? – Joan

Joan, I have seen that statistic in articles, too. On average, people in America who reach the age of 65 are expected to live another 20 years. But you’re right; more than two out of every three who reach the age of 65 will also need some form of long-term care during their lifetimes.

The national average cost for in-home care currently exceeds $40,000 per year, as does the average for assisted living. The national average for nursing home care is around $80,000 per year for a semi-private room (meaning one with a roommate) and closer to $90,000 per year for a private room.

Many people believe that Medicare and Medicare supplement plans will help cover the costs of long-term care. That’s just not true. Many people believe that putting their assets into a trust will protect them from long-term care costs. With the vast majority of trusts out there, that’s not true either (although there is a way to write a trust for this purpose if you know what you’re doing).

One way to plan ahead for long-term care needs is to purchase a long-term care insurance policy. The long-term care insurance industry has changed dramatically in recent years, so even if you’ve looked into coverage in the past, you owe it to yourself to check again.

Chapter seven of the book, You Need A Plan, talks more about long-term care insurance options. It also talks about government benefits that, unlike Medicare, do help offset the costs of long-term care. Order your free copy at And don’t forget, a no-charge strategy session is just a phone call away.

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