The Long Term Care Dilemma

24 Sep 2015

As advisors, our job is to make sure the client is prepared for unique retirement situations.  One of the biggest issues currently facing many retirees is the growing need for long term care. The statistics for long term care are overwhelming:

*At least 70% of people over 65 will need long term care services and support sometime during their lives
(2015 Medicare and you report)

*About 68% of nursing home residents and 72% of assisted living residents are women
(2013 Overview, National Center for Health Statistics)

*The national median daily rate in 2014 for a private room in a nursing home was $240
(Genworth 2014 Cost of care survey)

*The average length of a nursing home stay is 835 days!
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2014)

The way I see it, there are 4 ways you can deal with this serious issue:

1) Ignore the problem. Unfortunately, many men choose this option. In a way, you may be right. There is a chance you may end up in a long term care facility and not even know it. The number of long term care residents that have Alzheimers and Dementia are increasing and many don’t know they are in a facility at all.

2) Plan on Medicaid or “Title 19” coverage. Please do the research on this program. Often you will find it’s not a very good option to bank on.

3) Plan for self insurance. Many people will have the ability to cover the cost of a long term care stay for one spouse but what about 2? Also, how much will the cost be 20 years from now?

4) Consider buying personal insurance. This is a popular option, but what are the costs and how many companies will be left to honor them?

It’s important not to ignore this growing dilemma. Make sure when you are doing your retirement planning, you also plan on discussing the options unique to you to for your long term care concerns.

Good Luck!


Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Premier Investments of Iowa are not affiliated. Cambridge and Premier Investments of Iowa, Inc. do not offer tax advice.


Jeffrey Johnston

Jeff has over 30 years of experience in the investment industry. He currently holds his FINRA Serices 6, 63, 66, 7, 24 & 51 licenses with LPL Financial as well as his health and life insurance licenses.