This past Sunday was Super Bowl LIV. However, unlike most people I didn’t spend the time watching the game or discussing the half time show. I spent it packing my grandparents up to move from their townhome into an assisted living facility. This was an emotionally exhausting task but when I saw where they were staying, I felt so much better. They have their own bedroom, bathroom, and living area. In addition there is a little kitchenette space for them as well.
I was blown away when my mother made the off-handed comment that it would cost them almost $100,000 a year. That’s more then I make in year and I couldn’t imagine that my grandparents have that kind of money. It turns out they don’t. They only were able to enter the facility because they sold their home and their children were pitching in. Even though I thought I knew how expensive long-term care was, I never really thought about the actual cost for myself.
Now I work the life insurance industry and recently there has been a lot of discussion about long-term care facilities and planning for that with life insurance. Every day I talk about a data tool that our financial advisors care use that really helps people visualize the cost of their future. It is Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey. This website is amazing and it uses data that was collected from across the country since 2004, to help people project the cost of living all the way up until 2070.
The best part about this data is that we can customize it to each client. Say you have a 65 year old client, who is curious about how much the cost of a private nursing home room would be when they are 85 (which is the average age to go on claim). The tool will allow you to put in your local zip code and give you the closest metro area that they have data on. After that you can choose what mode of payment your client wants to view: hourly, daily, monthly, or annually. Then you can move the slider to when the client would be 85, which in this case is 21 years because they haven’t updated since 2020. At that point it will show you the cost of care now in your area, as well as the cost of care in the year 2041, when your client is 85. Just being able to see that number is an amazing tool, because clients realize, they might not have saved enough. For many of them, if their parents were put into assisted living, the cost might be vastly different from how it would be in the future. Having this data tool has changed the game from how I sell long-term care, and it will continue to change the game now that I know first hand the cost of taking care of a family member.