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Long-term care: What you should know about the costs

Long-term medical care may not be among your concerns if you are young and healthy. You may be more worried about saving for retirement, a new home or an upcoming vacation.

However, the time may come when you require long-term care. This could happen after a serious accident, as you get older and your health declines, or if you receive a serious illness diagnosis. Because this can happen to anyone at any time, it can be crucial to know what long-term care may cost and why you should not wait to start planning.

What does long-term care cost?

The cost of long-term care varies based on where you live. For instance, in Denver, CO, the monthly average cost of care services are as follows:

  • $5,577 for in-home homemaker services
  • $5,625 for an in-home health aide
  • $1,625 for adult day health care
  • $4,500 for an assisted living facility
  • $8,760 for a semi-private room in a nursing home
  • $9,779 for a private room in a nursing home

For the most part, these costs are higher than the national average. 

Why planning is so crucial

Whether the cost breakdown surprises you or not, it is a lot of money no matter what type of care you need. Planning ahead can give you confidence that you are prepared and will receive the type and level of care you want.

Financial planning for the purposes of long-term care can involve Medicaid planning, setting up and funding trusts, and educating yourself on the available programs that can help certain people pay for expenses like nursing homes, assisted living or in-home care.

If you fail to plan, you could put yourself in a position where you must spend down all your savings and assets before qualifying for various types of financial support. You could also wind up receiving less-than-ideal care because of financial limitations.

Financial planning for long-term care needs is complicated. And people don't always recognize how valuable it is until it is too late. To avoid this, you can start exploring your options sooner, rather than later.

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