Defend Against Big Nursing Home Costs

Physician's Money Digest, October 2006, Volume 13, Issue 10

New York Times

The costs associated with putting anelderly parent in a nursing home can betruly staggering. Fortunately, the majorityof retirees won't face significant long-termcare costs, but an unfortunate few will behit hard with steep expenses. According tothe , a recent study foundthat 69% of Americans aged 65 will eventuallyrequire some form of long-term care,but that may just mean help with bathing,dressing, or going to the bathroom, noneof which require a nursing home stay andcan be provided by family. The study projectsthat 37% of 65-year-olds will eventuallynecessitate long-term care in a nursinghome or assisted living facility, with11% of men and 28% of women aged 65needing more than 5 years of care, whichcan be incredibly expensive. To help easethe cost, you could consider purchasinglongevity insurance, a relatively new typeof policy that pays you income for life inyour later years. For example, MetLife hasa product that allows carriers aged 55 andolder to invest a lump sum, which purchasesincome that will kick in at age 85.Unlike long-term care insurance, yourhealth is not an issue when withdrawingthe money, so you can use it to help paynursing home costs.