As people continue to live longer lives and the capabilities of the medical industry expand, the need for careful long term planning becomes all the more important. Demographic statistics tell us that the segment of the population that is at least 85 years of age is growing faster than any other. If you retire at the typical age you now have perhaps three decades to plan for after your working days have come to a close. This is a long time and it is going to take a significant store of financial resources to make it through comfortably and preserve a legacy to pass on to your loved ones.
Considering this level of longevity many people will spend time in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, and the fact is that there is a significant cost involved. When you are planning for your retirement years it is important to take this into consideration.
MetLife conducts an annual study of the costs of long term care, and the numbers that they have published for 2010 will probably get your attention. The average annual charge for a private room in a nursing home was $83,585, which is a 4.6% increase over the 2009 national average of $79,935. The increase in the cost of residing in an assisted living community was even greater. In 2009 the average charge for a year was $37,572; in 2010 that figure had risen to $39,516.
These are the national averages, but as you might imagine, the costs of long term care in the state of New Jersey are much higher. The average cost of a private room in a nursing home in the Garden State was a whopping $112,000 in 2010, and being able to pay an expense of this magnitude late in life is not going to be easy for many people. Devising a strategy early on is key, and this is often best achieved with the assistance of an experienced professional.