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VOL. 41 | NO. 20 | Friday, May 19, 2017

Financial plan vital for life post-retirement

By Vicky Travis

Updated 4:38PM
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The cost of a child’s college tuition is planned for long before the first dollar is forked over. But, the cost of senior care – either for ourselves or aging parents – is often on the backburner.

It hits home for thousands of Americans, too often, after a crisis.

A much-cited statistic based on a 2010 Pew Research Center study shows that about 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 every day until 2029, pushing the U.S. population 65 or older to 20 percent, U.S. Census statistics reveal.

Boomers are a much-studied generation. Lots of Google for thought.

One more: An AARP Public Policy Institute study shows 87 percent of those 65 and older want to live in their current community as they age.

So, the way this generation retires may differ from how their own parents did.

“We’ve seen what’s happened with our grandparents, or parents,” says Lisa Dean, VP of sales at Caregivers by Whole Care. “There weren’t as many options for our grandparents. There is more education today about what it takes to age in place.”

Jobs in the homecare field are expected to grow by 1.3 million additional jobs through 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The retirement transition from the Greatest Generation to Baby Boomers is a transition from leisure to meaning,” contends Zachary Watson, tech-startup Honey Co Homes CEO. “They’re looking for continuing education, wellness, part-time or flex work and volunteerism.

“Traditional retirement has changed,” he says.

As demand for “age-in-place” services grows, one would guess options to do just that will grow.

Cost comparisons also make aging-in- place attractive, as long as it’s possible.

A Genworth survey for 2016 contacted 43,000 providers to complete 15,000 surveys. (Genworth sells long-term care insurance and more.)

It found the national median hourly rate is $20 for homemaker services such as shopping, housekeeping, cooking. Personal care (non-medical) provided by a home health aide median cost is also $20 an hour.

Adult day health care centers that give seniors structure and socialization in a safe environment often charge around $68 per day.

Costs go up dramatically when the need for care increases. The median monthly rate for an assisted living center that provides personal and health services is $3,628.

A nursing home, which offers a higher level of supervision, medication, therapy and rehab is $225 per day in a semi-private room. Caring.com shows the average (not median) cost of a nursing home can be $6,000-$7,500 per month.

The question, according to The Senior List, is to figure out how many hours of care per week are needed. If it’s more than 40 hours a week, assisted living may be the answer.

In dollars, one study shows that in-home care leads to 25 percent fewer doctor visits, thus lower medical bills.

The National Council on Aging runs a free database to aid the search for help at www.BenefitsCheckUp.com. Many articles specific to long-term care, advocacy, money management and more can be found at www.ncoa.org.

Bottom line, it’s time to do the research. College tuition isn’t the only important thing to plan for.

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