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Do you know what long-term care costs might run you?

When planning for end of life, long-term care coverage is always a good thing to think about. Long-term care costs can be covered by savings and investments or by a long-term care insurance plan. Some individuals opt for a hybrid of methods to cover potential long-term care, and all-too-often, people don't make financial plans for these costs at all. Understanding the potential costs associated with care in late life can help you see the importance of planning ahead.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published some details about the average cost of long-term health care in 2010. We know that in the seven years since then, health care costs have gone up in almost every niche, including the home care and long-term care markets.

In 2010, individuals were paying $205 a day for a semi-private nursing home room or $21 per hour for aid from a home health worker. That means seven years ago, a three-month stay in an nursing home might run as much as $18,000. Three months of home health aid for only 6 hours per day might result in more than $11,000 in charges.

Obviously, the expense of long-term care depends on the need and what type of skills are required. In-home nursing care that requires someone who can administer medicine or provide nursing skills is more expensive than in-home care that simply involves another adult assisting with daily activities. Skilled nursing care in a facility is more expensive, in general, than living in an assisted living apartment. What remains common among all these scenarios is that continued need for care can quickly sap savings and retirement accounts.

If you want to plan ahead to ensure you are covered for long-term care, consider making it part of your estate planning efforts. An experienced elder law professional can provide you with numerous options and plans of actions to choose from.

Source: LongTermCare.gov, "Costs of Care," accessed Feb. 16, 2017

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