May 7th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances

Senior Financial Planning

Senior citizen financial planning today needs to include planning for supporting aging parents who run out of resources. And that planning needs to have begun about three decades ago, so this is a post you might want to consider forwarding on to your adult children.

Here are the facts:  People are living longer. That means the majority of senior citizens will likely find themselves needing daily care of one kind or another (in-home assistance, retirement home, assisted living, nursing home) as they age.  Many of them have made no plans for such care, and will find their financial resources running out before their life ends.  In addition, our adult children who are busy with their careers, their lives, their families, are not planning for their aging care needs nor ours.  We all seem to be just sticking our heads in the sand and ignoring reality.

Long-term Care is an Unavoidable Reality

Long-term care of one sort or another is a reality for many families in the world today.  It is very common.  The MetLife Mature Market Institute says almost 10 million adult children are caring for aging parents in this country.  And the cost of care outside the home continues to rise. Here are some more facts from the 2011 MetLife Survey:

  • The national average daily rate for a private room in a nursing home rose 4.4% from $229 in 2010 to $239 in 2011.
  • The national average monthly base rate in an assisted living community rose 5.6% from $3,293 in 2010 to $3,477 in 2011.
  • The national average daily rate for adult day services rose 4.5% from $67 in 2010 to $70 in 2011.
  • The national average hourly rates for home health aides ($21) and homemakers ($19) were unchanged from 2010

So the questions are these:  Are you prepared for your long-term care needs?  Do you have a plan for your care, including how it will be paid for?  Have you discussed this issue with your adult children?

Creating a realistic plan and ensuring its financial viability is absolutely essential for senior citizens today.  Come back to this column next week, and you will find a discussion of plan options.

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  1. [...] talked about the effect long term care has on financial planning last week on  Baby Boomers who have not yet retired, and younger generations as well, need to be seriously [...]

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