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Bob Powell: Longterm care costs are more variable and far less predictable than standard medical costs. They are some-times very large, sometimes zero and rarely covered by health insurance other than longterm care policies, which are becoming both more expensive and harder to obtain. How much might you pay for longterm care depends on whether or not you need care and if you do, what type of care and for how long? Financial Advisor, Ken Waltzer, in a recent Retirement Daily article noted that about half of people are lucky enough to incur no monetary costs for longterm care. Another 25% will spend less than a hundred thousand. However, about 15 percent can expect to pay more than $250,000 on longterm care. How might you plan for those costs? We'll discuss that and much more as part of our series on long-term care.

The average retired couple age 65 in 2019 may need approximately $285,000 saved (after tax) to cover healthcare expenses in retirement, according to Fidelity Investments.

But that doesn't include long-term care, which according to a recent article in Retirement Daily by Kenneth Waltzer are more variable and far less predictable than standard medical costs.

What is Long-Term Care? 

It falls into two separate, but often overlapping, buckets:

  1. Services for someone who needs help with two or more activities of daily living (ADLs): bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (getting out of a bed or chair), continence, and eating.
  2. Services for someone with severe cognitive impairment who requires ongoing supervision for safety reasons.

How Much Do You Plan to Pay?

Well, that depends on depends on whether or not you will need care and, if you do, what type and for how long. We do, however, know what long-term care costs on average. The average lifetime long-term care expenditure for all individuals turning 65 in 2019 is $138,000, according to MassMutual. However, only about 27% of people have an expected cost that will exceed $100,000, 20% over $150,000 and just over 15% will have expenses in excess of $250,000.

So, how might you plan to pay for costs that could be that variable?

Learn More About Long-Term Care Costs

A subscription to Retirement Daily can help you understand everything and anything you need to know about long-term care. All week we'll be covering long-term care topics including planning, Medicare coverage, unpaid caregiving.

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