Innovative Solutions to Sky-high Long-term Care Costs

By Marathon Financial Advisor Kathy Kaffenberger


If there are two certainties in life – death and taxes – there is a third that is very nearly as certain:  the need for long-term care.  Statistics show that for an average couple aged 65, there is a 75% chance that one of them will need long-term care services.  So, for individuals in their mid-forties to those seventy or older, mapping out a clear retirement and estate planning strategy as early on as possible, is the key to controlling the expense of long-term care.


Currently in the Central New York area, home health aide or home-maker services cost about $20 an hour.  Adult day-care service average $15,600 annually; assisted living facilities exceed $38,000 annually; and nursing homes average over $109,000 for a semi private room.  A private room now costs more than $113,000 annually.


It’s important to understand that medical insurance or Medicare generally will not provide coverage for long-term care services.  If they do, it will be for a limited amount of time. Individuals who explore insurance-based options while relatively young and healthy could potentially enjoy substantial cost savings of up to 35% based on a couple (meaning a spouse or a significant other) applying or coverage at the same time and proving excellent health.  Additionally, New York State offers a tax credit of 20% of the premium paid for a “qualified” long-term care policy.


Long-term care is defined as non-medical care that helps individuals with activities of daily living (ADL) such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, maintaining continence and transferring (walking, getting out of a chair or bed, etc.)  Also included is standby assistance provided to someone with some form of cognitive impairment such as senility or Alzheimer’s.


Fortunately, Marathon Financial Advisors, can show you innovative solutions to confront the rising costs of long-term care including:

  • Life Insurance to refund long-term care costs to your estate
  • Long-term care insurance to directly pay for long-term care up to policy limits
  • Long-term care rider on a life insurance policy that uses a portion of the death benefit to fund long-term care


The most carefully crafted retirement and estate plan is no match for an extended long-term care event.  Solutions and answers to your questions are only a phone call away.