How much money will I need for long-term care?August 10, 2012: 6:30 AM ET
How much do my spouse and I need to self-insure for long-term care? Is $400,000 enough? — Mont Roberts, East Lansing, Mich.
You need total retirement savings of $1 million to $2 million per person to cover most long-term care needs, say financial planners and long-term care experts. Thirty-seven percent of adults age 65 will need to be in a nursing home or assisted-living facility in their lifetime; the average total stay is one year, according to the informational website longtermcare.gov. You can get a sense of prices in your area from Genworth (look for the company's "Cost of Care" data).
If you choose an LTC policy instead, keep the premium below 7% of your retirement income, advises Marilee Driscoll, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Long-Term Care Planning. To be safe, budget for premiums to rise 10% per decade, she says.
— Walecia Konrad
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