When you are planning for the future you are going to have to make projections with regard to your possible expenses, and doing this intelligently requires a significant amount of research. One of the matters that must be addressed is the rising cost of long-term care, and one of the best resources available for people interested in the subject is the annual MetLife Mature Market Institute survey.
In 2010 the national average cost of a stay in a nursing home rose by 4.6%, and assisted living facility charges rose by 5.2%. In the state of New Jersey long-term-care expenses exceeded the national average by a considerable amount. One month in an assisted living community cost an average of nearly $4,300 in the Garden State, and if you do the math that factors out to over $51,000 per year. Nursing home costs in New Jersey averaged $307 a day for a private room, which would result in an annual expense of over $112,000.
The question is: How do you address these costs? Many people just assume that Medicare will take care of everything once they reach the age of 65, but this is simply not the case when it comes to long-term care. When you look at how high these costs are now and consider the fact that they’re continually on the rise you’re looking at a significant end-of-life expense. The average stay in a nursing home is two and half years, so if you project an annual 5% increase outward for 10 or 20 years the figure could be rather staggering.
Although Medicare does not pay for long-term care, Medicaid will pick up these costs if you can qualify. Though there are limits to the assets that you are allowed to retain, if you intertwine a Medicaid contingency into your retirement plan wisely you can optimize your resources while aiming toward Medicaid eligibility. Clearly, these are tricky waters to negotiate and the best way to proceed would be with the assistance of an experienced elder law attorney who will give your situation personal attention and provide you with expert advice.