If you’re like the majority of Baby Boomers, you probably haven’t thought too much about your future care needs in retirement. According to the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement, only three in 10 Boomers have a plan for how they will receive care in retirement.1
Baby Boomers may not be thinking about long-term care, but most of them will need it! According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human services, 70% of 65-year-olds will need some type of long-term care services at some point in their remaining years.2
Planning ahead for your future care needs is a very important aspect of retirement planning. Knowing where you would like to receive care—whether it’s at home or at a facility—can give you an idea of how much money you will need to cover your future care needs.
Consider the costs of long-term care
Long-term care is one of the most expensive costs you’ll face in retirement. Consider these average monthly costs of care:3
- Home health aide: $4,195
- Adult day health care: $1,560
- Assisted living facility: $4,000
- Private room in a nursing home: $8,365
Despite these steep average costs of long-term care, four in five Baby Boomers have no money set aside specifically for their long-term care needs.1
Where do you want to receive care in retirement?
As you age, there may come a time when you are not able to live independently. Long-term care needs typically arise as part of the normal aging process, but can also arise due to injury or illness, such as stroke or Alzheimer’s disease. When this time comes, where would you like to receive long-term care?
Perhaps you would like to stay in the comfort of home. It can be challenging for the modern family to carve out time and resources to care for an elderly family member, so you may need to hire a home health aide to make staying at home possible.
Some seniors prefer to live at assisted living facilities. The amenities, 24/7 access to assistance, and social aspects of living in a community of peers provides a great measure of peace of mind to residents.
An insufficient long-term care budget can restrict your options of where and how you receive care. Not all long-term care facilities are created equal.
Long-term care insurance can help you control where you’ll receive care
Paying for long-term care out of pocket requires significant financial assets, so many people turn to long-term care insurance to help.
A long-term care insurance policy is designed to help you pay for the long-term care services you need. Long-term care insurance policies typically reimburse policyholders a monetary daily amount (up to a pre-selected limit) for assisted care services such as eating, bathing or dressing. You can usually select a range of care options and benefits that allow you to get the services you need, where you need them.
A comprehensive long-term care insurance policy offers the most freedom of choice. This type of policy covers the expenses for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care centers or home care services.
A facility-only long-term care insurance policy only covers expenses associated with nursing homes, assisted living facilities and Alzheimer’s facilities.
How do I get long-term care insurance?
The first step in getting long-term care insurance is to set up a meeting with a licensed insurance agent. Your agent will help you find the plan that’s right for you. Most individual long-term care insurance policies require medical underwriting and may require a medical exam. Underwriters will review your medical history to determine if your application is acceptable and to identify your risk classification.
How much does long-term care insurance cost?
Your premium amount will be determined by your length of coverage, your age/gender, your current health, the elimination period (the amount of time before your policy begins to pay benefits) and the maximum dollar amount you can be reimbursed for covered expenses. Qualifying for coverage can become more difficult as you age. The best time to apply is while you’re still in good health!
Ready to learn more?
Bankers Life is here to help you take the next step in planning for your long-term care plan. Contact us here to get paired with a local Bankers Life agent.
1Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement, Retirement Care Realities for Middle-Income Boomers, https://www.bankerslife.com/health-and-retirement-study/a-growing-urgency-retirement-care-realities-for-middle-income-boomers/, 2019.
2U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, How Much Care Will You Need?, https://longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics/how-much-care-will-you-need.html, accessed 2020.
3Genworth, Cost of Care Survey 2018, https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/ cost-of-care.html, 2019.