A Real Life Example
I grew up just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I moved to Denver 30 years ago but, much of my family has remained in Wisconsin, including my Mom. For her, it will always be home. It is a family friendly place with a reasonable cost of living.
I am the 8th of 10 children and my parents built a beautiful life and home for their family in Wisconsin. My Dad passed away several years ago. After his passing, my Mom continued to live in the 5-bedroom family home for many years. She lived independently well into her 80s. She was happy at home.
A Need for Care
Over the years, my siblings and I noticed the normal decline that comes with aging and we began to be concerned that living alone in such a large old house was not the best option for her. When she had a heart attack, we knew it was time to make a change and we moved her into a senior living facility. It was a nice place with two bedrooms, a kitchen, and two bathrooms. She was comfortable there. She paid $2,500/ month in rent and we kids were all happy that she had such a nice, safe place to live.
Time passed and Mom needed a little more help as she continued to age. We moved her into assisted living. The monthly cost of her rent and care went up to $4,500/month. We felt better knowing that she was receiving a little more care and attention.
Her health continued to decline, and she required full nursing home care. That level of care cost $7,500/month.
Recently, she has shown the signs of dementia and requires the support of the Memory Care Unit. That costs $10,000/month.
Why do I tell you this story?
This story illustrates the reality that many people, especially women, face as they age. As we get older, we tend to need more care and that care can cost a lot. Like my Mom, many women live alone and do not have the luxury of a spouse or someone else living with them to give them full-time, in-home care. Even if you are not widowed or single, the toll of caregiving on a spouse, child, or friend can be too much to bear and outside help may be required.
My Mom is lucky. She had enough money saved to cover the cost of the care that she needs. Years ago, my parents planned for their retirement. They saved to be able to cover the cost of things that they might need in the future, including healthcare. The advanced planning that my Mom and Dad did gave her the ability to afford the proper care that she needs now.
Healthcare is expensive and if you think that this story illustrates atypically excessive costs, think again. According to seniorliving.org, the average cost for a private room in a nursing home is over $8,000/month.  That is just the average. Many facilities cost much more. The costs continue to rise on an annual basis. What do you think the cost of your care might be a few years down the road?
Aging is a natural part of life. We all get a little bit older every day and the research is clear; we will all face varying challenges as we age. With any luck, you will age comfortably in a manner that will allow you to get the most out of your retirement years. With a little bit of planning, you can better prepare for the very real chance that you might need some additional care as you age.
We work with clients on a regular basis to ensure that we have factored extended care into their Wealth Plans. We discuss options such as Long-Term Care Insurance policies and investment planning that will help to cover the costs of the care that they might need in the future.
If you are concerned about planning for your future care, please give us a call so we can discuss options that might be available to you.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.