nursing homes are not your only option

Your Options for Facility-Based Care in Retirement

Nursing homes are not your only option for care in retirement. Some facilities offer only housing and housekeeping, but many do provide a more personal care and even medical services. Oftentimes, with medical care there are specialized units for memory care or specific disabilities/illnesses.

Nursing Homes

With a wide range of health and personal care, nursing homes offer more than just assisted living. There is 24-hour supervision and care, meals, personal care, and assistance with everyday living. Part of why they are the most common facility for the elderly is also rehabilitation services (physical, speech, occupational) and extra curriculars that build and maintain community.

Another reason nursing homes are so popular is because they offer long-term and short-term stays especially those who only need short supervision and rehabilitation.

Board and Care Homes

Known as residential care facilities or group homes, board and care homes are smaller facilities with 20 or less residents. Rooms are either private or shared, but staff is available around the clock for personal care and meals. Medical care is off-site.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is for retirees who need daily care, but as much help as someone in a nursing home. These types of facilities typically offer their residents levels of care, where specific levels are more costly. In comparison to nursing homes, assisted living facilities do have fewer residents.

The residents typically stay in apartments or rooms and then shared space is the common areas. With access to daily meals and personal care assistance, certain levels of care offer different services such as medical or housekeeping care.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

Referred to as life care communities, CCRCs offer independent living arrangements, but also have assisted living, or skilled nursing care on the same campus. Recreational and healthcare services are also provided onsite.

The biggest plus to a CCRC is you are permitted to live and transfer depending on your needs. Someone who is looking to live somewhere that might offer long-term care services if they need it may want to live here even if they are fully able to live independently now.

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Ways to pay for long-term care

How to Cover Long-Term Care Expenses

Does planning for long-term care seem sensible for your retirement?

The answer: Many will not plan for an LTC until it is too late.

Where do you start?

Paying for Long-Term Care in Retirement

Each option has advantages and risks and knowing these will let you determine what your best plan of action is.

From Retirement Assets:

Without any coverage you will pay for LTC out-of-pocket. For most retirees, this is not the best option. If you are married, there is a good chance you and your spouse will both need long-term care. Essentially doubling your cost in LTC, you may consider shared care if you are married to save on costs.

Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance

This option is all-or-nothing. You either use the benefits or you do no end up using it. However, if you do not use the LTC insurance policy, your family/heirs do not typically see a death benefit payout. As a specialized insurance, you pay to have the insurance company cover out-of-pocket costs for long-term care. With the need for long-term care increasing, over the years policy holders have seen increases in premiums.

Life Insurance Policy with Chronic Care Rider

Life insurance can provide an upgrade. As part of your policy, many life insurance companies offer a rider that will help pay for long-term care. In the case you should need long-term care, your life insurance will pay out a fourth of the death benefit from your policy up to four years. Should you not use all the death benefit for your long-term care, your heirs will receive whatever remains after you pass.

These riders can also apply to permanent life insurance policies that will allow a portion of the policy to be invested; a portion that will grow and may be tax-free upon withdrawal.

Deferred-Income Annuities

While used more as a stream of income, deferred-income annuities may be used as monthly payments to offset the cost of long-term care. In some cases, you may be able to purchase a deferred-income annuity with long-term care coverage or a long-term care rider.

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