The vast majority of Americans want to remain in their homes throughout retirement, but a new study finds that 8 in 10 drastically underestimate the cost of getting the in-home help that many will need to make it possible.
The latest Genworth Cost of Care study finds that the median rate for a homemaker, who provides full-time help with household tasks, costs a median $3,861 per month, and a full-time home health aide costs a median $3,813 per month. Americans underestimate the costs for these services, the most popular care options, by almost 50 percent.
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Over the past five years, homemaker costs have gone up 11.1 percent, and health aide costs have risen 6.6 percent.
The survey also looked at the cost of other types of long-term care. The monthly cost of a private nursing room increased 1.24 percent to $7,698 (a shared room is $6,844). The cost of assisted living ticked up slightly to $3,628 per month.
At least 70 percent of Americans over age 65 will need some form of long-term care at some point in their lives. “Planning ahead for long-term care and how to fund it can be daunting for even the savviest of consumers,” Tom McInerney, president and CEO of Genworth said in a statement.
Medicare covers 100 days at a nursing home, and may cover home care for a short period of time, but most people must pay for them out-of-pocket or through long-term care insurance policies.