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Anticipating Your Future Medical Needs

Posted by David Ghiorso, CPA, June 21, 2018

When we retire, most of us picture ourselves spending our time on travel, leisure, and hobbies. You might even hope to make a difference by volunteering in your community, or look forward to an active and social part-time job.

Those are the fun parts of retirement, and hopefully you will enjoy plenty of those activities. But since most of us also experience some health problems in our sixties, seventies, and beyond, we all must consider future medical needs as well.

For those turning 65 today, they stand a 70 percent chance of needing long-term nursing care or other supportive care at some point in the future. About 20 percent will need this type of care for more than five years.*

You will face many different options, regarding nursing and supportive care. While sometimes the decision comes down to personal preferences, often it is budget that determines the type and location of care you receive. Generally, your nursing care will fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Nursing care is provided in your home, by an unpaid person (usually a family member or friend)
  • A nurse, home health aid, or therapist visits you in your home to provide services
  • You visit an adult day program in your community, either daily or as needed
  • You move to an assisted living center or more traditional nursing home

While many retirees do remain at home for a number of years, with help from family and friends, caregiving could still be considered “expensive”. Caregivers often miss time and pay from their careers, and the physical and emotional toll can be significant. These arrangements can certainly be satisfactory and even mutually beneficial, but should not be regarded as “free”.

As for the other options listed above, the monetary cost can be significant:

  • The average cost of a nursing home is $225 per day, or over $82,000 per year**
  • The average cost of a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility is $3,750 monthly***
  • The cost of professionals visiting the home can vary widely, depending upon the level of care needed, rates in your particular area, and the number of hours needed each week

Clearly, long term nursing care is not always cheap or easy to obtain, but most of us will need this type of service at some point. That’s why, no matter how healthy you are today, everyone should consider the potential need for nursing care in the future. As yourself whether your retirement plan accommodates for this expense, and give us a call if you have any questions.

*Stats from
**National Nursing Home Survey
*** Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2017

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