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How are you going to pay for a nursing home?

Planning for nursing home care can be more complicated than people realize, especially when it comes to utilizing funds from programs like Medicaid.

As such, taking time now to plan for care in a nursing home can allow you make strategic decisions that make it easier to pay for what you may need in the future.

Know what you need

Before you start planning, it is important to know how much you need. Some sources estimate that on average, a private nursing home room in Colorado can cost about $9,500 per month. 

Assisted living facilities across the nation cost about $4,000 per month, or $48,000 per year. 

In-home care aides can cost an average of over $59,000 per year.

Of course, these are estimates and numerous factors will affect the amount a specific person pays, dependng on where he or she lives and the type of care required. However, one thing is clear - paying for care is expensive, and it can only become more expensive as a person's need for assistance increases.

Payment options to consider

When it comes to paying for nursing home care, you have several options. 

First is to pay with your personal assets and savings. You might have retirement funds or property to sell; you might cash out life insurance policies; your family members may contribute money to help you pay.

You could also rely on any long-term care insurance you have to reduce your costs. When you purchase this type of policy, you can get much better rates if you are healthy, which is why it can be important to open a policy sooner rather than later.

Another common option is Medicaid. This program covers all of the costs of care in a nursing home or assisted living facility, and in some cases, provides assistance for individuals who can remain in their home.  In order to qualify, applicants must meet certain financial criteria.  There are many planning strategies designed to meet these criteria while preserving family assets; however, they must be done correctly and require careful planning by a knowledgable attorney.  

Finding the right long-term care planning strategy

Completing your planning now for what you may need in the future can provide a critical sense of security in the event that you require care.

Not only can careful planning help you set your expectations for where you might receive care, it can also ensure you have proper funds in place, minimize out-of-pocket expenses and preserve assets.

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