Planning your estate is intertwined with the plans that you must make for the end of your life, and to do this with due diligence you have to ask yourself how long you can realistically expect to live. When you look at the current statistics regarding longevity in the United States you see a remarkable trend. People are living longer, with the “oldest old, ” those 85 years of age and older being the single fastest growing segment of our society. So if you have no specific health problems you may well join this growing group, living on well into your eighties and beyond.
When you take this increasing longevity into account, it becomes all the more likely that you may require nursing home care at some juncture. With this in mind it is important to recognize the fact that the costs associated with a stay in a nursing home are significant, and they are rising.
MetLife does a good job of providing annual statistics on the subject, and their study reveals that the cost of a private room in a nursing home in the United States in 2010, on average, went up 4.6% over ’09 rates. In 2009 the average annual rate for a private room was $79,935, and in 2010 it was $83,585. Choosing to stay in a semi-private room isn’t going to save you a whole lot of money. The 2009 cost for a semi-private room was $72,270 a year, and in 2010 that went up by 3.5% to $74,825.
In the same way that they say everything is big in Texas, everything is more expensive in New Jersey. The average cost of a private room in a nursing home in the Garden State is over $112,000 per year, and a semi-private room will run you about $101,000 per annum.
Being able to cover a six-figure per year nursing home expense at the end of your life requires preparation. The prudent course of action is to discuss the matter with an estate planning professional who will help you devise a strategy to prepare for this possible eventuality.