Because You Asked: What Are Some of the Costs and Considerations of Aging? (Long-Term Care Part 3)

I recently reviewed some statistics or hard numbers that appeared in the January 2018 issue of the Journal of Financial Planning.  And even though we have always believed that everyone needs to have a plan for how to cover our costs of long-term care, reviewing these stats really drove the issue home for me.  So, if you will, please consider some of the following startling numbers.

Aging Population:

  • 10% of the population was over age 65 in 1960; by 2040, it will be 20% or 1 out of 5.
  • 47% of men who are retirement age or older will need long-term care.
  • 58% of women retirement age or older will need long-term care.
      • Long-term care includes help with daily activities like bathing and hygiene, eating, mobility, toileting and dressing.
  • 5 MILLION: Americans who were living with Alzheimer’s in 2017.
  • Strokes: Someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds. Strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability. It reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors 65 and over. (from CDC.gov/stroke)

Caregivers for Elderly:

  • 40 million: the number of people who are caring for older relatives.
  • 25% of millennials: Are providing care for older relatives.
  • Age 49: the age of the typical caregiver, also typically female, who is caring for older relatives.

Money Considerations:

  • $138,000: the average cost an individual turning 65 today is estimated to pay in long-term care costs. In Texas, the average costs are:
      • $3,500 per month for Assisted Living
      • $4500 per month for a semi-private nursing home; $5900 for a private room
      • $20 per hour is the average cost of in-home care; for 24-hour care around $300 to $350 per day, and on a monthly basis, could be up to $10,000 per month for 24-hour care.
  • $7,000 to $14,000: the average range of total amounts adult children contribute to caring for an aging parent.
  • $300,000: amount of lost wages and benefits incurred by family caregivers over age 50, who leave the workforce to provide care.
  • $470 Billion: Economic value of the care that unpaid family caregivers give to their loved ones per year.

Do It NOW:

These are the facts, the realities of what we all need to consider.  And whether it be for yourself and your immediate family or for your parents and other relatives, we must be proactive.  We need to think through what we would do both if…and when.  Waiting until the need occurs creates additional stress and chaos, at a time when we are simply trying to cope with often traumatic events.  Therefore, with every ounce of encouragement I possess, I urge you to have the conversations now; do your research now; make your plans and contingency plans now.

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