The Cost of Living Longer
It is no secret the cost of living longer has risen and will continue to rise as these services become more in demand. America, like almost the rest of the world, is aging.
The costs for the various services offered to those who are living longer depend on the part of the country in which you live. Said another way, the cost of living longer is higher in San Francisco than it is in South Carolina for example.
A skilled-nursing facility could cost more than $10,000 a month in San Francisco while the same facility in South Carolina could be $4500 or $5400 in Nevada. Of course not everyone will be in a skilled nursing facility. Some may need assisted living, independent living or any number of other services available to the services’ consumers.
The cost of living longer forces people to be clear about how they will be paying for the needed services. Without discussing these services, here is a list of the type of services most often utilized:
- Assisted Living
- Independent Living
- Home Health Care
And some alternative options:
- Adult-day services
- Hospice care
None of these services are free so that makes computing the cost of living longer a reality that must be done. The experts tell us we should plan for the cost of living longer as early as possible.
Insurance companies offer a policy called a long term-care insurance policy. This type of policy covers an array of expenses. Since this type of policy is almost a guaranteed money loser for insurance companies, many have exited this market.
The remaining providers have upped their premiums and cut some of the services they will pay for. As you can guess, this has increased the cost of living longer.
This means consumers will have to pick up more of the tab themselves. This can bankrupt some people. There is an answer but it too may not cover all the costs.
An immediate annuity is an annuity that pays the owner starting in the very first month it is purchased. Depending on the amount used to buy the annuity you could receive enough to cover all or a majority of the costs.
The trick with this method is for married couples with some savings to buy this annuity to preserve savings for the “well” spouse while the other spouse receives care. There is a hidden benefit in this option.
This type of an annuity wouldn’t count against them in qualifying for assistance from Medicaid, the state and federal program that pays for health and long-term care for the poor. As with all benefits there is a catch.
The catch is that the well spouse has to live through the entire period the annuity is making payments. If not, the state has the first claim on any remaining payments. If the person is receiving Medicaid for example it only stands to reason they would want back as much of their money as possible.
Veterans have a benefit called Veteran Aid and Assistance. Its monthly check is tax free and can be as much as $2100. Like the other programs, it comes with a catch. The veteran must qualify.
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs also maintains facilities across the country for qualified veterans. Depending on the veteran’s disability rating, they may be able to reside in one of these facilities for less money than its private sector counterpart.
If you have not dealt with the VA, I suggest you go to www.va.gov as your first step. Look at the links and click on “Locations,” then on “State Veterans Affairs offices,” “Veterans Service Organizations” or “Regional Benefits Offices.” The VA like other government agencies changes their web pages so these links may be titled by another name. Don’t despair because the VA does offer a national toll free number you can call.
With medication-monitoring and administering services currently ranging from $340 to $500 a month and going up, you must know the cost of living longer in your particular case. These are only two of the services people need when “that” time comes in their life. Imagine all of the ancillary services required and the cost of living longer becomes almost too staggering to deal with unless you prepare.
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