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The real cost of nursing home care

Florida residents may have heard of the importance of saving in case long-term care is needed later in life. However, according to a recent survey, many people may be surprised to learn how expensive care can be, and most Americans do not have enough money saved. Gathering knowledge about what people can expect as they age is one of the many reasons that careful estate planning is so important.

The survey revealed that 57 percent of Americans believe that they can pay for one year of nursing home care for less than $75,000. However, a MetLife survey shows that a shared room in a nursing facility actually costs more than $80,000 annually. Private rooms can easily top $90,000. It is also important to consider regional differences. The national average may be just over $80,000, but in New York City, the average cost for one year of nursing care is more than $140,000. Therefore, even people who save for long-term care may discover their savings are inadequate when the time comes.

Assisted living typically costs approximately half as much as nursing care, but many people think it costs the same. Some people may be able to delay the cost of nursing care and save money by first looking into an assisted-living situation. Many people believe that long-term care insurance is the answer. Insurance may help, but if the policy is through an employer, it is important to understand what happens after retirement. Individuals should also read their plans to verify if their coverage is adequate.

An estate planning attorney may be able to help individuals choose the right long-term care insurance. It may also be possible to help protect assets from being taken to pay for long-term care.

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

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