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Long-term health care planning is a larger issue for women

Statistics show that men live an average of five years less than women do. As a result, many women will spend more time in long-term care at the end of their lives than men will. Therefore, long-term health care planning is more of an issue for Massachusetts women than men.

Other data indicates that 74 percent of women are concerned about how they will pay for long-term care. A person can spend an average of 835 days in a nursing home, which could cost upward of $200,000. The average stay in an assisted living center is comparable in time, but it may cost only approximately $90,000. Even an assisted living center may be cost prohibitive without some planning.

At least some of those women are under the mistaken impression that Medicare will cover the costs. In reality, Medicare will only cover a certain amount and may not last. At this point, turning to Medicaid may not provide a viable answer.

The eligibility requirements for Medicaid can be difficult to meet since the amount of assets and income are restricted. Long-term care insurance is another option that women are looking at to either cover the costs and/or supplement Medicaid. The insurance kicks in when a person is no longer able to perform at least two daily tasks on his or her own, such as eating and bathing.

With some creative estate planning, it may be possible to receive the desired care when it is needed. As the average age of the population rises, more Massachusetts women — and men — may be considering how to plan for their retirement years. These efforts need to include long-term health care planning as well.

Source:, “Planning Your Long-Term Care Strategy? 5 Things Every Woman Should Know“, Kate Ashford, Dec. 17, 2014


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