In 2003, experts estimate that an estimated 37 million individuals will need some form of long-term care by 2050.[1] According to the AARP, approximately 65% of seniors will need some form of long-term care during their lives;[2] of those, 35% will enter a nursing home at some point.[3]

Whether it is home health agencies, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice, residential care communities, or adult day service centers, an individual can spend up to $10,000.00 per month for their care. In Illinois, the median cost for a private room in a nursing home was $8,121.00 per month in 2017.[4] As a result, many seniors will exhaust their hard-earned life savings and leave no legacy to their children or other loved ones. Many of these individuals will have to resort to Medicaid or some other governmental program to afford even the minimal amount of care.

While people may employ some creative estate planning strategies to avoid the full exhaustion of one’s assets, to do so requires an incredible amount of time and expense, which can often fall on the individual’s loved ones.

The potential solution and security that many individuals and financial planners overlook is the purchase of long-term care insurance. Long-term care insurance is an insurance policy that will pay some or all of the extra care that may be needed later-in-life. Long-term care policies often include nursing home expenses, assisted-living expenses, at-home care, adult day care, and other types of support.

When updating your estate plan or meeting with your financial adviser, a person should also think about the inquiring into long-term care insurance. Similar to life insurance, long-term care insurance is often more financially feasible when you are in your late 40’s or 50’s. Options may include a combination of long-term care funds and life insurance. If you use it during life, the funds may not pay out at death, but if you don’t use it during life, your loved ones will reap the benefit, as with life insurance.

  • Edward J. Boula III
  • Drendel & Jansons Law Group
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[1] AARP. Beyond 50.2003: A Report to the Nation on Independent Living and Disability, 2003.

[2] Id. at AARP

[3] The Retirement Project (2007) Meeting the Long-Term Needs of the Baby boomers: How Changing Families Will Affect Paid Helpers. Retrieved (January 2015) from