Americans can expect to live significantly longer now than they did a century ago. While this is good news overall it also means that many of us will risk losing our life savings to the cost of living that long. While advances in medical care have added to the extended life expectancy, those advances come at a price. To ensure that your life savings are not lost in the last few years of your life to the cost of long-term care you should take the time to include long-term care planning in your estate plan now.
Recent statistics tell us that the average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing care facility runs about $75,000 a year. Of course if you need more intensive care or choose a private room then the cost can easily run over $100,000 a year. A two or three year stay in a nursing home, a length of time that is far from extensive, can easily run through a life savings. Most private health insurance companies will not cover the cost of long-term care.
One way to prepare for the possibility of the need for long-term care is to purchase a long-term care insurance policy. If you do decide to look into this option, be sure to review the policy with your estate planning attorney to be certain that you understand what the policy covers, when it will begin paying out and what the yearly and/or lifetime maximums are.