Long-term care can be ridiculously expensive. Nursing home facilities cost thousands of dollars a month, potentially more depending on the needs of the resident. Even the most wealthy individuals may struggle to cover that degree of expense at a time in their life when they no longer have a steady stream of income.
There are options available that help people cover those expenses. Those who qualify for Medicaid, for example, can receive assistance in covering nursing home care costs. However, Medicaid puts a very strict caps on both your income and what assets you may own. Those who own their own homes or have decent retirement income may not qualify for Medicaid without substantial penalties.
That's why it's important to plan ahead as far into the future as possible. Long-term care insurance could protect you and your loved ones from the expenses involved if you ever need nursing home care. However, if you wait until retirement age to secure a policy, the chances are good that you can't afford it. These policies are a good option for young professionals trying to plan for a secure future.
A policy in your 30s could be affordable
Depending on your personal medical history and your family background, you may be able to obtain a long-term care policy during your 30s for as little as a couple of hundred dollars each month. While that may seem like a lot of money, it is a bargain when compared with the cost of nursing home care.
You may be able to lock in those lower premiums, as you can with life insurance, provided that you sign up when you are young and never miss a payment. Although you will likely pay many thousands of dollars for the policy over your lifetime, it will still be a more affordable option than paying out-of-pocket for residential nursing home care.
There are other options if it's too late for long-term care coverage
If you are already in your 50s or 60s, long-term care may just be too expensive of an option for you. These policies could cost $1,000 or more each month, which could make it very difficult for you to afford that premium, especially once you head into retirement.
If you've already gone past the age where premiums for long-term care insurance are reasonable, you will probably need to consider other forms of care planning, such as the creation of a trust. Sitting down to talk about your situation with an experienced White Plains, New York, estate planning attorney can help you make informed decisions about your care needs and protecting your assets and legacy as you age.