Is your retirement account enough to cover long-term care costs?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2022 | Estate Planning

For decades, you have deposited a small portion of your weekly paycheck into a retirement account. You expect a combination of those savings and Social Security retirement benefits to ensure your comfort in your golden years.

While you may have tried to save aggressively, what you have set aside may not cover all of your costs as you get older. Especially for those who require long-term care, such as the help of nurses in their homes or tenancy in a nursing home, their retirement savings may not be enough to pay those expenses.

What does long-term care cost in Minnesota?

The cost for the support you need as you age will vary depending on your underlying health concerns, location and family circumstances. If you can live with family or receive some support from your children, you may only need part-time nursing help. Others may need to move into a nursing home facility because their family cannot provide the support they require.

The state of Minnesota estimates that it will cost $60,000 a year for 44 hours each week of nursing support in your home. If you move into a nursing home, those costs surge up to more than $90,000 each year.  Even a few years in a nursing home could consume every cent you have set aside for retirement and your children’s inheritance. 

You can plan for long-term care expenses

If you are already close to retirement age, purchasing long-term care insurance won’t be a solution to your possible nursing home costs. However, there are other ways to plan ahead to protect yourself.

You can change how you hold property so that your most valuable assets aren’t at risk if a creditor takes you to court or brings a claim against your estate. You might create a trust as a way to help you qualify for Medicaid benefits.

The sooner you begin planning, the better your chances of success. Transfers that take place in the months right before a creditor lawsuit or a Medicaid application may result in penalties or undermine the protection those planning efforts should have extended to you.

Recognizing that you may need to engage in long-term care planning in case you need more support than your family can provide will help ensure you remain physically and financially comfortable as you age.