It is important to understand the fact that a comprehensive plan for the future involves more that just planning for the distribution of your assets to your loved ones after you pass away. Most people are aware of the fact that retirement planning is important, but many do not think about the period of time that will follow their active retirement years. The reality is that there are some elder law considerations that should be taken into account as well, and one of these is the cost of long-term care.
You may not realize how likely it is that you will need long-term care at some point and just how expensive it is. The United States Department of Health and Human Services states that seven out of every ten senior citizens will eventually need some form of long-term care. People who are at least 85 years of age are the fastest growing age group, and at any given time 25% of these people are residing in a nursing home with the average stay being about two and a half years.
Considering the fact that a year in a private room in a nursing home in the United States cost over $80,000 in 2010 you may be faced with an expense that exceeds $200,000 and this is using today’s figures. The reality is that these costs rose by around 5% last year and they are expected to continue to trend upward.
Another elder law concern is that of dementia. Upwards of 50% of the oldest old are dementia sufferers, and of course dementia can render its victims unable to make sound decisions. To make sure that decision makers of your own choosing are in place to act in your behalf should you become incapacitated you have to make advance legal preparations. Incapacity planning is an essential component to any comprehensive plan for aging, and it is something that you would do well to discuss with your elder law attorney.