Estate planning is usually seen as something that involves the distribution of your assets after your death, and rightly so. But the totality of the matter blends into the period of your life that precedes your passing. Why is this? To put it bluntly, if you don’t have anything left when you die any planning that you may have done regarding inheritances is not going to have a whole lot of value.
Obviously there are those who have sufficient assets to easily handle any and all eventualities that may come their way and sill have more than enough resources to leave a poignant legacy. But a lot of people fall into a gray area where they may or may not have significant assets to pass on to their loved ones depending on various contingencies. One of the things that people who fit into this category would do well to consider is the cost of long term care.
The facts would indicate that it is quite possible that you may be spending some time in a nursing home or assisted living facility; about half of all seniors will reside in a nursing home at some point in time. The average stay is about two and a half years.
Now let’s take a look at the costs associated with long term care. According to the annual MetLife market research study, the average annual cost for a year in a private room in a nursing home in 2009 was $79,935. That number rose in 2010 by 4.6% to $83,585. The costs associated with residing in an assisted living facility rose at an even higher rate of 5.2%, from an average of $37,572 in 2009 up to $39,516.
These numbers are high, they are on the rise, and industry experts expect this upward trending to continue. Planning is key, so when you are budgeting for the future take these costs into consideration and act accordingly.
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