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What You Need To Know About Long-Term Care/ Protect Your Retirement:
Prepare For Long-Term Care Now/ Long-Term Care And Your Retirement

Kanan Sachdeva, Northwestern Mutual

Like many people, you’ve worked hard to build your wealth for a more secure future. But have you considered how a significant health event could impact that wealth you’ve worked hard to build?

On average, nearly 70 percent of 65-year olds will eventually need some form of long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HSS). Whether provided at home with the help of a caregiver or in a assisted living facility or nursing home, the cost of care can add up quickly, depleting retirement funds that took a lifetime to build.

Keep in mind that not everyone who requires long-term care is elderly. According to the HSS, an estimated 12 million Americans currently receive long-term care; nearly 40 percent of them are adults age 64 and younger. A major health issue during your working years could disrupt your ability to save for retirement, significantly impacting the amount you ultimately will be able to set aside for future needs.

The fact is, if you sustain an extensive injury or experience a prolonged illness, regardless of age, you may need help with everyday living activities that are essential to maintaining your independence, such as getting in and out of bed, taking care of your personal hygiene, or driving to and from appointments. If you become cognitively impaired, you may need help preparing and eating your meals, remembering to take your medications, paying bills and other kinds of support.

There’s a common misconception that private health insurance and/or Medicare will cover the tab if long-term care is needed. In reality, Medicare and most forms of employer-sponsored health insurance cover only a portion of care (up to 100 days) in a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility. And that care is covered only if it is deemed medically necessary and it directly follows a hospital stay of at least three days. Medicaid will eventually help, but only after you’ve spent down most of your own savings. As a result, you may need to cover the costs of care out of your own pocket

How much could long-term care cost you?

According to the LTCG 2014 Cost of Care Study released in January 2015, the average annual cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home facility is $85,049 a year (and as high as $172,930 in Alaska) and the average cost for full-time care (12 hours/day) by a home health aide is $95,352.60 a year. Given this, you can see how long-term care costs can quickly deplete assets earmarked for other living expenses, including your retirement, and put any legacy plans you may have for your loved ones at risk.

For these and other reasons, it’s crucial to plan ahead for the possibility that you or a loved one may need long-term care. This is where a qualified financial professional can make a difference.

An experienced financial professional can discuss your needs and concerns, help you understand your options and then design a strategy to help protect your hard-earned assets from the devastation that can result from a long-term care event. By planning ahead, he or she can help you maintain your independence and ensure you have financial security to live your life your way.


Article prepared by Northwestern Mutual with the cooperation of Kanan Sachdeva. Kanan Sachdeva is a  with Northwestern Mutual based in Westborough, MA. Kanan Sachdeva is a licensed insurance agent. Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries. To contact Kanan Sachdeva, please call (781) 248-8640 or email at kanan.sachdeva@nm.com.

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