Soaring Inflation and Rising Long-Term Health Care Costs Problematic

Inflation fears and higher long-term health care costs are complicating retirement planning. Planning for long-term care has never been more critical as high cost and high risk can adversely affect family and finances.

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Soaring Inflation and Rising Long-Term Health Care Costs Problematic
5 Min Read November 16th, 2021
Linda Maxwell

Former journalist who now enjoys writing about topics she is interested in.

The markets have been doing well, at least as of the date of this article. However, inflation has been creeping in, making things more challenging for those considering retiring in the next ten years. But inflation is not the only concern. Soaring long-term health care costs will make a considerable dent in income and lifestyle and could adversely change your legacy.

Inflation fears and higher long-term health care costs are complicating retirement planning. Planning for long-term care has never been more critical as high cost and high risk can adversely affect family and finances.

The U.S. inflation rate (as of September 2021) was 5.4%, up from 5.3% in August. With consumer prices increasing, the stress on income, especially those who are retired or retiring soon, can start changing lifestyles.

Soaring LTC Costs Change Financial Dynamics

Long-term health care costs are also rising due to higher labor costs and, in some areas of the country, labor shortages. While the markets have been solid so far, many experts fear its effect on many American families as they plan for their current or future retirement if the markets go down.

Many people are so leery about the combination of inflation and long-term care that they have slowed down spending. The fear that staggering long-term costs in the years ahead can change the lifestyle of retirees.

The risk of needing long-term health care in the years ahead is not something to ignore. While some people will never need care, the chance of needing some help with daily living activities or supervision due to dementia is high and gets higher as you get older. 

Not Many Options

There are only a few ways to plan for the costs and burdens of aging. You either plan for your adult children to become caregivers, OR you pay for professional care. 

Health insurance (including Medicareand supplements) will pay up to 100 days of skilled services and nothing toward custodial long-term health care, which most people will require. Don't depend on Medicaid unless you have little or no income and assets.

That leaves self-funding the future costs of care or Long-Term Care Insurance. However, self-funding is costly and does not reduce the stress on your loved ones, and higher costs for long-term care services will take a bigger bite out of your income and assets. 

LTC Costs Vary Depending on Location

For example, according to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, if you live in Las Vegas, Nevada, in-home care now costs nearly $4,200 a month (based on a 44 hour week). In 25 years, that cost will average over $9300 a month Nevada Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.

If you need assisted living, memory care, or nursing home care, that cost will be more, taking a bigger bite out of your financial resources.

Care costs do vary depending on where you live. Compare Vegas with Memphis, Tennessee. The exact amount of home health care in Memphis is averaging $3,432 today, and in 25 years, over $7600 a month Tennessee Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.

The LTC Cost of Care Calculator will help you plan by showing you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live and providing state-specific information that will be helpful in your devising your retirement plans.

Family Caregivers Untrained and Unprepared

Informal care from family members, most often a daughter or daughter-in-law, is burdensome on them. Family caregivers must find ways to juggle their many responsibilities in addition to their job as a caregiver. The job is physically and emotionally demanding as well.

Your choices are to pay perhaps well over $100,000 a year for future long-term care, place the burden on your family, or add a Long-Term Care Insurance policy to your retirement plan. 

A 55-year-old married couple in good health can find good coverage from $250 to $350 a month, although some companies can be much more expensive. LTC Insurance is custom designed and priced based on the amount of purchased benefits, health, family history, and other factors. 

Hybrid policies, which combine life insurance or an annuity with a qualified rider for long-term care, would be more costly but come with a death benefit. 

Ignoring LTC Risk Can Be Devastating 

Surveys have reported for years that people overestimate the cost of Long-Term Care Insurance and underestimate their risk of needing long-term care. Do you want to be dependent on your family? Would you feel comfortable spending large sums of money on professional care?

Consider, for a moment, how an additional bill for $5000 a month or more would affect your future retirement. You may have planned well for your future (or current) retirement, but long-term health care costs will change everything. Just a small amount of in-home care will create financial pressure, not to mention the emotional burden on the rest of the family.

Being prepared for the consequences of aging will safeguard your assets and give your loved ones time to be family instead of caregivers. But remember, you cannot purchase a policy when you need care. You also have no clue when your health declines and your need for care will start. Nor do you know when the markets will drop. Trying to time everything just right is not possible.

States Taxing You When You Don't Own LTC Insurance?

Now there are 12 states considering following Washington's lead in taxing people who do not own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy - Multiple States Considering Implementing Long-Term Care Tax | LTC News. Planning when you are younger will save you money, help secure your future retirement, and perhaps, get you out of a tax.

Long-Term Care Insurance premiums can vary over 100%, so be sure to seek the help of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist representing the top companies to find the best coverage based on your age, health, and family history.

Retirement planning can be complicated, but when you consider inflation and higher long-term health care costs, the consequences of ignoring the problem will change your lifestyle and that of your family.

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About the Author

Linda is a former journalist who now enjoys writing about topics she is interested in so she “can keep her mind active and engaged”.

LTC News Contributor Linda Maxwell

Linda Maxwell

Contributor since December 11th, 2017

Editor's Note

Being prepared for the costs and burdens of aging is more than just about how you will pay for quality care services. Being prepared is about family. Your family is affected by your changing health, aging, and disability.

Simple mobility problems or even light dementia can create dependency on your family - even if they are not providing the care themselves. When you own an affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy, you have access to your choice of quality care services, including in-home care - but it doesn't stop there.

LTC Insurance safeguards your income and assets so you can maintain your lifestyle and preserve your legacy. But, perhaps as important as anything else, Long-Term Care Insurance gives your loved ones the time to be family, reducing the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on them.

The time to obtain coverage is before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s, when premiums are lower, and your health is better.

Available Resources on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS offers several tools and resources to help you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis. 

To help you plan for the future costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS can put together several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.

Seek Professional Advice

Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family. Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, premiums do vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.

A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have the peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Find Quality Caregivers and Long-Term Care Facilities

If your parent or loved one needs care now - or soon - you will need to find the appropriate care in the right setting depending on their needs.

Take a moment and read - 

Get Expert Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim

LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you, or a loved one complete the claim's process with your Long-Term Care Insurance policy. You can also support finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News

Benefits of Reverse Mortgages 

Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.  

Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement. 

Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages. 

Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

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Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

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LTC NEWS is open to contributors to share their stories with the world. 

You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking nations. 

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

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Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

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