saving for long-term care

Hey Boomer: Time to Start Planning How to Pay for Long-Term Care

Hey Boomer! Sara Zeff Geber has an important message for you: It’s time to make a plan for your long-term care.

In her recent Forbes article, “Hey Boomer: Medicare Won’t Cover Your Long-Term Care,” Zeff Geber, the author of Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers, and a Nexus Insights Fellow, shared some surprising facts. In a  2019 study by Bankers Life, “nearly half of the middle-income boomers surveyed believe they will need care in later life, but almost 80% of them have no plan or savings toward it.”

And, indeed, many seniors will need care later in life. Zeff Geber points to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services, which found that, “Men over 65 men will require an average of 2.3 years of long-term care; women will require an average of 3.2 years.” The expected price tag? “Men who turn 65 in the next few years can expect to spend an average of $142,000 on long-term care needs (nursing and help with everyday functions like bathing, dressing, grooming, etc.). For women, that figure is $176,000.”

Those large numbers are shocking enough. But, according to Zeff Geber, “A shocking 56% of boomers mistakenly believe that Medicare will pay for long-term (sometimes called “custodial” care). They are sadly mistaken.” 

Geber offers some suggestions for Boomers to start getting prepared. “The best planning you can do for yourself is to save the money you will need for this kind of care.” Another option? “Take out a long-term care insurance policy.” And avoid the worst option, “Having your daughter/son/niece/nephew/sibling leave their family or work in order to provide you the care you need.”

Read the full article.

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