Seniors and their families are likely to be a lot more diligent in the times ahead in seeking out long-term care availability that’s cheaper than the average.
The country is in the midst of an approaching retirement crisis, highlighted by how few people have even five figures saved against the day they won’t be working any longer—not to mention the latest figures on the cost of health care during retirement, which say that the average couple should expect to face $275,000 in costs.
Under these circumstances, knowing how much care costs—either where one lives or where one might relocate at retirement—can make a huge difference in how adequate that hard-won savings nest egg might last. Not just seniors, but potential family caregivers (often the only option, considering the expense) should be aware of the variations from place to place—not just across the country, but even within a given state—so that they can make the best possible plans for their physical, mental and financial well-being.
Genworth’s 14th annual study on the cost of LTC provides up-to-date figures on how much care might cost, whether it’s nursing home, assisted living, day care or simply a licensed homemaker coming in to assist in allowing an elder to remain at home.
Both the carer and the cared-for are skewing younger, according to the study, and while 52% of caregivers are likely to be caring for their own parent, 24% are other family members—more than in earlier studies. They’re also not necessarily the distaff side of the family, with care split 50/50 between male and female providers.
And those younger care recipients? They need help more because of accident than illness. While just 60% of care recipients in 2015 were 65 or older, compared with 81% in 2010, 19% needed care in 2015 because of
an accident, compared with just 11% in 2010. And in 2010 44% needed help because of illness, but in 2015 that had dropped to 35% .
Bad as that may be for those receiving care, caregivers are in jeopardy too. Those who help out financially estimate that they pay, on average, a total of about $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. Back in 2010, the average was $7,285.
Check out the carousel above for the 15 cheapest states for long-term care: