Both of my parents ended their lives in health care facilities (nursing homes). Both ran out of savings very quickly, even 20 years ago when my father died. My mother only died last year at age 88, almost 89, but because she needed round-the-clock medical care, she’d been in a nursing care center for more than eight years.
When my dad’s last stroke left him almost totally incapacitated, I was still working full time – and did not have the medical knowledge to give the care he needed. When his money ran out, we had to sell my parent’s home and all other tangible property they both owned in order to get him on Medicaid. At which point, my mother had to go on Medicaid, too, in order to fund her extensive presciptions.
When her own health dwindled to where neither she nor I could take care of her, she also went into a care facility. Since she already was signed up for Medicaid we didn’t have to sell anything, but we also had little choice on nursing homes. Although we did find her a good and caring one, it was a choice between one of two that would work with Medicaid.
Even eight years ago, the bill for my mother would have been about $3800 a month. Today, it would be right at $7500-$8000 a month.
I know a wealthy woman who paid for her own long-term care. Instead of bequeathing her children a whole lot of money, they are recieving a few thousand each now that she recently died at age 92. Her bills were $8000 a month in a good, but not fancy, nursing facility. She basically “spent away” several sizeable farms, a really rich inheritance and a bunch of stock and other savings.
I am not rich by any means, but I do have savings and land and property. When my I learned what my mother’s bill would have been if she’d have had to pay it, I called my health care provider that also offers long term coverage. They helped me compute what my Social Security benefits would be and set up a plan to work around that.
Luckily, I did this years before I developed cancer and had no health problems. My rates are only around $500 a year. These would have been lower if I’d have been younger and also in good health. Today’s rates probably are considerably higher even if you are as young as I was then. They probably wouldn’t be affordable for anyone who has been battling cancer for two years.
My advice is to take long term care coverage even before you are in your 50’s. We none of know how long we will live today.
I am 65. I had my children when I was fairly young. All of them must work, just as I had to work. They don’t even live close. Not one of them can “take care of me” for a good 15-20 years down the road. Besides, home care for the physical ailments of an aging population isn’t realistic today. If you can’t lift a stoke patient whenever he or she needs it, you aren’t giving decent care. If you can’t monitor severe diabetes/empysema/heart problems 24/7, you can’t give quality care.
And yes, if yu choose wisely (and keep going in to monitor the care), nursing facilies can provide quality care. Your monitoring is a large part of the solution, for sure. But it can work well.
I did not labor hard and save hard for more than 60 years in order to spend every penntI have on a nursing home. Even if Ilive for another 20 years, my $500 year payments for long-term health care insurance still will be only be about $30,000. Figure that at $8000 a month – or more in a few years.
Yes, my Social Security will kick in and help, but even if I get a fair-sized SS check, it certainly is not $8000.00 or even a quarter of it. Even with it, my long-term insurance is a good bet,
Hey if I die before I need a care facility, I’ve spent $500 a year for nothing. I’d rather do that than have my entire estate wiped out.