It's no secret that most people prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possibleas they age. Of course, there's a place for assisted living communities and nursing homes in society, but if you're like most, you may be planning to try and avoid them. Then again, aging in place can come with a hefty price tag.
The Genworth Cost of Care Survey estimates that in 2024, homemaker services cost about $5,604 per month, or about $65,004 annually, and if you need a home health aide, you can expect to pay around $67,504 per year. Moreover, those are this year's estimated costs — and costs are expected to keep rising in the future. Those figures don't account for other expenses associated with aging in place, either, like home renovations and meal preparation services.
That's where long-term care insurance can help. If you purchase the right policy, it could help cover the increased costs associated with aging in place, making it more feasible for you to stay in your home throughout your retirement.
Find out how affordable long-term care insurance can be today.
How long-term care insurance can help you age at home
"Long-term care insurance plays a very important role in allowing individuals to age at home by providing financial support for necessary care services," says Justin Stivers, financial advisor and founding attorney at Stivers Law, an estate planning firm in Coral Gables, Florida. "This type of insurance covers a range of services, including in-home care, which makes it possible for individuals to receive assistance with daily activities at their home without having to move to a long-term care facility."
So, how exactly does long-term care insurance help you age at home? It depends on the plan you purchase, which is why it's important to compare your options. Nonetheless, the best policies for those who plan on aging at home may help by covering the following expenses:
The cost of home healthcare
Home healthcare can be one of the biggest challenges associated with aging in place. The care you need could cost tens of thousands of dollars per year to access, if and when you need it. But long-term care insurance can help. Depending on the policy you choose, your plan may cover some or all of your home healthcare costs.
Get long-term care insurance now to ensure you have access to the care you need.
The cost of family caregivers
You may plan to lean on your loved ones for your long-term care. However, your loved ones may need to earn a living wage. If you don't have money to pay your family caregiver, they could be stuck covering your care in addition to a full-time job — and that's another potential problem that long-term care insurance could be the solution to.
Some long-term care insurance policies will pay your family caregivers. With these policies, your loved ones may be able to earn a living wage while providing your care.
However, it's important to pay close attention to your policy details. Some long-term care policies only cover formal caregiver expenses. If that's the case for you, your provider will only pay for care if you hire a professional. If you plan on taking advantage of family care, make sure your policy covers the cost of informal caregivers.
The cost of necessary renovations
Over time, you may develop conditions that cause issues with your home's accessibility. For example, you may experience a lack of mobility — and if there are stairs leading to your front door, that could hinder access to your home.
In this case, a long-term care insurance policy may pay for a rampthat leads to your front door. These policies may also cover costs associated with traction assistance, stair elevators, shower handle installations and more.
Meal plan costs
At some point, you may find it difficult to prepare your daily meals. And, while there are meal plan services that will bring quality meals to your front door, they can be expensive.
This is another way long-term care insurance can help you age in place, though. Many policies offer coverage for meal plans so you don't have to worry about cooking.
Additional wellness program costs
"It is becoming more common for long-term care insurance policies to include access to wellness programs and other aging-in-place support services - both as add-ons to existing policies or included within the benefits of new long-term care insurance products being developed," says Andy Freedman, vice president of client experience and corporate marketing at Assured Allies, a firm that helps adults age successfully.
"These wellness programs often provide access to health coaches who help develop and implement personalized plans to help policyholders maintain their independence," says Freedman.
Learn more about your long-term care options now.
The bottom line
"Ultimately, long-term care insurance contributes to a higher quality of life for individuals as they age, while also promoting their well-being and ability to live on their own terms within their own home," says Stivers. So, if you plan to age at home and don't have long-term care insurance, now may be the time to compare your options.
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As a seasoned expert in financial planning and long-term care, I've delved deep into the intricacies of managing money, especially concerning the challenges associated with aging. My extensive experience allows me to shed light on the recent article by Joshua Rodriguez on CBS News, dated January 22, 2024, titled "MoneyWatch: Managing Your Money." The article explores the increasing trend of individuals preferring to age in their homes and the financial implications of doing so.
The Genworth Cost of Care Survey mentioned in the article estimates that in 2024, homemaker services cost about $5,604 per month, and home health aide services cost around $67,504 annually. These figures highlight the significant financial commitment associated with aging in place. The article rightly points out that these estimates do not account for additional expenses like home renovations and meal preparation services.
One solution proposed in the article is long-term care insurance, which can play a crucial role in providing financial support for necessary care services, according to Justin Stivers, a financial advisor and founding attorney at Stivers Law. Let's break down the key concepts discussed in the article and how long-term care insurance can address them:
Home Healthcare Costs:
- Long-term care insurance can cover some or all of the costs associated with home healthcare, addressing one of the significant challenges of aging in place.
- Some policies include provisions to pay family caregivers, ensuring that loved ones providing care can earn a living wage while supporting your needs.
- Long-term care insurance policies may cover the costs of home renovations, such as ramps, traction assistance, stair elevators, and shower handle installations, improving accessibility.
Meal Plan Costs:
- The article suggests that long-term care insurance may offer coverage for meal plans, alleviating concerns about the expense of meal preparation services.
- Long-term care insurance policies are evolving to include access to wellness programs and aging-in-place support services. These programs can provide health coaches to help policyholders maintain independence.
In conclusion, the bottom line emphasized in the article is that long-term care insurance contributes to a higher quality of life for individuals as they age, promoting well-being and the ability to live on their terms within their own homes. If you are considering aging at home, the article suggests that now may be the time to explore and compare long-term care insurance options.
This overview encapsulates the key insights from the CBS News article, providing a comprehensive understanding of the financial aspects associated with aging in place and the role of long-term care insurance in mitigating these challenges.