Estate planning is one aspect of the larger specialty of elder law, so when you consult with an estate planning attorney he or she is probably going to talk about the broad picture. Planning out the details of the distribution of your assets after you pass away is certainly important, but there are other things to take into consideration as you act in anticipation of your twilight years.
Many people are surprised when they find out that the portion of the United States population that is at least 85 years of age is growing faster than any other. So the fact is that you may very well live into your late eighties and beyond, and this type of longevity makes a stay in a long term care facility more and more likely. It is useful to prepare for this eventuality emotionally, but you should also be cognizant of the costs involved.
Each year MetLife conducts a market research study that puts the costs associated with long term care under the microscope. The 2010 statistics have been released, and the numbers are staggering. The average cost for a year in a private room in a nursing home in 2009 was $79,935, but in 2010 that number rose to $83,585, and that is a 4.6% increase.
A month long stay in an assisted living community would run you $3,131 on average in ’09; in 2010 the national average went up to $3,293 a month or $39,516 per year, which is an increase of 5.2%.
Almost half of senior citizens will spend some time in a nursing home at some point in time, and these costs are considerable. Take them into consideration when you are making plans and be advised that experts expect this upward trending to continue into the foreseeable future.