Toni Says: Long Term Care Illness… Baby Boomers Are Biggest Retirement Expenses


By Toni King

Hello, Toni:

I read your recent article on The Cost of Nursing Homes Nationwide and I’m concerned about wiping out my 401K or savings if there is a need for long term care.

I am a 68 year old retiree with a woman who will be 65 in January. My 88 year old mother has lived in an assisted living facility with Alzheimer’s disease for 3 years, which costs me and my siblings $ 8,500 per month. Her health is good, but my mother’s mind is slipping, and this situation could continue for years.

Can you please explain the different long term care options that we may request to help with LTC needs? Thanks, Paul from Sugar Land.


Baby boomers fear that prolonged illness or chronic illness will be one of their biggest retirement expenses if not planned properly.

Medicare pays for up to 100 days of skilled nursing care before retirees have to absorb the remaining cost on their own, and you see your mother’s care in nursing home at $ 8,500 per month for the last 3 years without. end in sight.

Because Medicare controls health care costs, most Medicare beneficiaries receive $ 0 co-pay for days 1 to 20 in a skilled nursing event and more than $ 185 for days 21 to 100. But you have to improve to stay in the establishment.

Long-term care or chronic illnesses can be very expensive, with the average annual cost ranging from $ 65,000 to $ 90,000 per year for a stay in a semi-private nursing home to $ 84,000 to $ 96,000 per year for a stay in a private nursing home.

However, depending on the level of assistance you need, there are inexpensive care options and ways to protect yourself from the excessive costs of long-term care.

Below are a few options for finding other ways to find affordable long-term care or email [email protected] for more information:

• Traditional long-term care: Many buy a long-term care policy. The younger you are when you purchase a long-term care policy, the lower the premiums will be. Seek long term care while you are younger and healthy …

• Hybrid life and annuity policies: many life / annuity policies have a provision if you need long term care; you can receive a certain amount of long-term care with the face amount of your life / annuity policy.

• Aid and Assistance Benefits: The VA can help Veterans with long-term care issues. There is over $ 20 billion available for long term care pension money just waiting for veterans to apply for their aid and assistance benefits. You must have a long-term care problem to be eligible. (Recently my own mother was qualified for this benefit and a home aide helps with the daily care of my own mother so that I, Toni, can help America understand Medicare. Thank you VA for this great service for our veterans and spouses)

• Medicaid: Find out if you are eligible for Medicaid. You have to “spend less” to qualify. And don’t forget the 5 year income / asset analysis period and the “MERP” Medicaid Wealth Recovery Program. When the amount of money the state spends on health care may constitute a lien on the individual’s estate for health care, home help or nursing home care paid for by the state .

• New acute home health care: helps pay for home care for up to one year. Allow not to empty your savings or 401K for a home recovery.

If you have any questions about long term care or Medicare, please feel free to contact Toni and the Toni Says® Medicare team at 832 / 519-8664 or send an email to [email protected]

Medicare Open Enrollment Special: $ 10 discount for Toni Says® readers on the 2021 Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced book at


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