No one wants to think about spending their golden years in a nursing home or with round-the-clock nursing assistance for basic self-care tasks, such as eating, dressing, bathing and using the bathroom. Yet, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, someone turning age 65 today has an almost 70 percent chance of needing some level of long-term care services and support (LTCSS) during their remaining years, with women making up a disproportionate share of LTCSS users.
It is important to clarify from the onset that the need for long-term care is not limited to individuals who are very old and frail or those living with chronic diseases or cognitive impairments, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Rather, as we age, the probability of developing long-term physical impairments increases, and we are more likely to have difficulties managing everyday activities independently. How we will deal with those struggles and pay for the care we need is a challenge that women, in particular, must plan for far in advance of their 65th birthdays.
As mothers, wives and daughters, women tend to be the primary caregivers for their family members. The time they spend over their lifetimes worrying and caring for others often comes at a fault: they forget to consider and plan for taking care of themselves in their times of need. To address this problem and ensure qualified care throughout their lifetimes, women must spend some time and effort establishing a safety net for their future.
The costs for long-term care can be quite expensive, and they continue to rise. In 2021, a Genworth Cost of Care Survey found the median annual cost of having a health aid in someone’s house for 40 hours a week was more than $56,000, a 12.5 percent increase from the prior year. For a private room in a nursing home, the annual costs shoot up above $108,000, a 2.4 percent increase from 2020. Not only can these prices vary based on levels of services and location where services are provided, but one can also expect them to continue to rise at a five-year annual growth rate of more than 3 percent. These costs can be especially challenging for women, who are more likely to outlive their male spouses and be left with the responsibility of paying for their own care, often after serving as primary caregivers to a spouse. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, Medicare does not cover a significant portion of the costs for extended long-term care.
Long-term care insurance has been and continues to be a valuable tool to help women afford the rising costs of care that they can expect during their retirement years. However, these policies may not be suitable for everyone. It is important women address these topics early in their lives so that they can plan appropriately to ensure that they will receive the care they will need in the future without becoming a physical or financial burden to their family members. By seeking the assistance of qualified financial advisors, women can better understand all the options available to them and the different strategies they can employ before retirement to enjoy their golden years in the style and manner they want for themselves.
About the Author: Olga Ismail is the head of Retirement Plan Consulting and a financial advisor with Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs and a registered representative with PWA Securities, LLC (PWAS). She can be reached at the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office at (954) 712-8888 or email@example.com.
Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., 19th Floor, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 712-8888.
Olga Ismail is a registered representative of and offers securities through PWA Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.
This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.
Any opinions are those of the advisors of PWA and not necessarily those of PWA Securities, LLC. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of PWAS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Prior to making any investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.
Long-term care insurance policies have exclusions and/or limitations. The cost and availability of long-term care insurance depends on factors such as age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. As with most financial decisions, there are expenses associated with the purchase of long-term care insurance. Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the insurance company.
Updated on February 5, 2024