Long Term Care Expenses

By Rick Law of Law Elder Law. Senior Advocates, Estate Planning, and Elder Law attorneys, in Aurora, Illinois.

Those seniors who do need long-term care can face enormous expenses, unless this is properly planned for. And the cost of receiving care, whether that care takes place in a facility or at home, continues to increase each year.

Overall, the nationwide average daily cost for a private room in a skilled nursing facility in 2010 was $229 per day, with the average daily cost of a semi-private room at $205.

This equates to nearly $75,000 per year.

But the costs don’t stop at that $75,000. For example, when considering a married couple, if one spouse needs care and the other remains at home, the food, shelter, and utility costs don’t stop for the spouse living at home. After all, if only one spouse is living at home, the grocery bill might go down a bit – but almost all the other expenses stay the same.

Therefore, this exorbitant cost of long-term care is tacked on to expenses that the couple already has. For a couple living on social security, a modest income, and their savings, those costs can be staggering.

Even more modest forms of care can take a huge chunk of portfolio assets. The national average monthly base rate for an assisted care living facility in 2010 was nearly $3,300 – equaling an annual rate of almost $40,000.

And even the cost of home healthcare can be daunting. In 2010, the average hourly rate for a home health aide was $21. Depending on how many hours per week they are needed, these costs can add up as well.

The good news is, there are often things that a qualified Elder Law attorney can do to help your hard-earned dollars stretch farther. Often, benefits can help pay for care in a nursing home – or even right at home. Some of these benefits are hidden from the lay person. Contact someone who works in these areas every day to see what might be available to you.

Every person’s situation is different – that’s why you may need a qualified attorney to help you figure out what steps are best for your family to take.

If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now.


Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.

Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care.

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