Livens & Reed, PLLC

Paying for long-term care in an assisted living facility

About 70% of seniors over the age of 65 will need long\-term care either in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Nursing homes provide 24-hour care for those who need ongoing attention and have medical issues, and assisted living facilities are for those who are still independent but need help with custodial care. In Texas, planning early for long-term care can offset costs of assisted living facilities not covered by current Medicare terms. 

Assisted living facilities across the country are a popular alternative to nursing homes for those who are still active and independent. The average cost for assisted living facilities is $3628 per month or $45,539 per year, and Medicare will cover none of it. Purchasing long-term care insurance may help defray costs, and applying sooner than later will land better health-based discounts. Purchasing coverage early will keep costs at a manageable level rather than waiting until health issues arise. 

Another alternative to cover long-term care costs is to save. Those 50 and older can contribute up to $24,000 a year in a 401(k) account and $6,500 into an IRA. By maxing out retirement contributions for the last ten years of one's working life, it will be easier to afford additional healthcare costs in the future.

When planning for the future, one should stay informed about the costs of long-term care. With proper financial planning, seniors will be able to live out their lives in a comfortable and affordable assisted living facility. In Texas, seniors with questions and concerns about long-term care costs may benefit from the expertise of an elder law attorney.

Source:, "Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living? -- The Motley Fool", Maurie Backman, Dec. 18, 2017

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