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A look at the current state of long-term care planning

Research estimates that 70 percent of Americans over the age of 65 will need an average of three years of long-term care at some point. Year to year, the annual cost of assisted living and nursing home care is on the rise. Without adequate long-term care planning, this could cause a heavy financial burden on both the District of Columbia resident needing the care and family members.

Most people are unable to accurately estimate how much long-term care will cost. A recent survey indicates that, at present, a private nursing home can cost upwards of $91,250 a year, and an assisted living facility can cost an average of $43,200 per year. Even if those costs did not rise each year, which they most likely will, the cost over an average of three years is staggering.

Medicare will not cover a majority of the cost, and the eligibility process can be complicated and time-consuming. Moreover, the cost of long-term care insurance is increasing at a faster rate than the care itself. Having some coverage would be preferable to none at all, but finding an affordable option could be frustrating.

A District of Columbia resident could account for long-term care planning in an estate plan. That way, when the time comes, his or her assets are protected, and the money is available to pay for it. If an individual wants this factor to be taken into consideration, he or she should make sure that is part of the discussion with an estate-planning attorney since it could affect one's recommendations.

Source: Forbes, "Boomers, Millennials And The Long-Term Care Divide", Richard Eisenberg, April 9, 2015

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