Wamhoff Financial: Long term care, what families need to know

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- In years past, long term care was synonymous with the decline and passing of our aged loved ones and was focused on end-of-life care rather than continuity of care while aging in place. But today, things have changed.

Matt Allgeyer, Financial Planner at Wamhoff Financial Planning & Accounting Services joined us to discuss the new face of long term care, and what families need to know.

According Allgeyer's findings, when it comes to coverage for long term care costs, the rules have changed. Older coverage policies were location specific, meaning one had to be in a long term care facility in order to receive coverage from the policy.

But today, benefits are based upon fulfilling activities of daily living care for at least two of six of the following must be provided in order to receive coverage: toileting, bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, continents. This change is critical, in that it means individuals can now receive care in the home through assisted living, in an independent living center, or in memory or nursing care, but they are not required to live in a facility to receive coverage.

Its no longer about caring for someone at the end-of-life stage.

A person is now able to age-in-place where they feel most comfortable and continue living the life they`ve been living.

At least 70% of people over 65-years-old will need long term care services and support at some point in their lives. While most people hope that they will not be part of that 67%, but they must plan for this to happen. If this possibility is ignored, an individual could spend a significant amount of their own assets covering the cost of care when they least expect it.

Planning for it may give you the ability to allow for the best to happen with the rest of your assets.

In the U.S. today, rates for a nursing home range from $6500 per month to $7600 per month. The average length of a nursing home stay is 835 days, or more than two years and the annualized increase in median annual nursing home costs, 2008-2012 is 4.5%. This puts the average annual cost of a nursing home in 2015 at $138,000 per year.

For more information visit: wamhoff.com

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