When you are doing your estate planning research you will frequently hear mention of the fact that the population of the United States is getting older and the senior population is rising. A very interesting dynamic emerges when you combine this demographic with the fact that medical science is advancing by leaps and bounds, fueled by amazing technological breakthroughs. More people are living longer, and it would seem as though this trend will continue as more becomes possible medically.
All of this has everything to do with long term planning because how you arrange your finances and set your goals is going to be relative to how long you can logically expect to live. The group of Americans who are 85-years-old and older are the fastest growing demographic subset, and if this is any indication it is probably prudent to prepare for the possibility of living into your late eighties and beyond.
This increased longevity is invariably going to add to the numbers of people living in assisted living communities and nursing homes. The costs of these facilities are already very high, they are rising, and experts say that they will continue to increase. A MetLife study reveals the fact that the cost of a private room in a nursing home in America in 2009 was $219 a day or $79,935 per year; in 2010 it had increased by 4.6% to $229 a day or $83,585 per year.
The rates for living in an assisted living community grew at an even quicker pace. In 2009 the average annual cost was $3,131 a month, which works out to $37,572 annually. These figures shot up to $3,293 per month and $39,516 per year in 2010, an increase of 5.2%.
In the state of New York the costs associated with long-term care are quite a bit higher than the national averages as you might expect. The annual cost of a private room in a nursing home in New York in 2010 was $127,750.
When you stop and think about a $130,000 annual expense coming in at the end of your life it is clear that some advance preparations are probably going to be necessary. The prudent course of action is to discuss the matter with an elder law attorney and do what it takes to address the possibility of a stay in a nursing home or assisted living community.