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The real cost of nursing home care

The majority of people in the United States are assuming that nursing home costs are lower than they really are and are not saving an adequately to cover their future needs, according to a new survey. For example, many people think that the annual cost of being in a home is under $75,000, but a MetLife study found that a private room is $90,000 a year. A shared room might cost around $81,000. The results shows that people in New York might benefit from putting more time into long-term care planning.

Knowing what to expect and saving wisely could make for a more enjoyable retirement, and starting to save for such expenses may be easier if an individual starts to put away money when he or she is young. This is especially important for people planning to retire in more expensive areas. A shared room in a New York City facility might cost around $60,000 more than the national average.

Some people who are hoping that Medicaid will offset some of their retirement costs may be surprised to see that they do not qualify for the benefits. According to a recent article, a person must use up much of their own assets before they are eligible for Medicaid benefits. Those benefits might be subject to certain limitations as well. In some cases, the program might pay for semi-private rooms but not for private rooms. Long-term care insurance could provide help for some people, but those people might benefit from reviewing their plans. Some plans might limit the type of care that is available, and those who rely on work-related plans should see if those benefits continue after retirement.

Planning for expenses related to long-term care options can be a complex process. However, an attorney might be able to help individuals with the planning process. That attorney might be able to use different strategies to protect a client's assets, allowing that person to receive quality care in the future.

Source: FOX Business, "Most of Us Have No Idea How Much a Nursing Home Costs", Richard Barrington, July 11, 2014

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