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Plan for long-term care

September 08, 2008|Scott J. Wilson

Few people like to think about the prospect of living in a nursing home, but you're in for a financial shock if you don't plan for the possibility.

Americans typically need three years of long-term care during their lifetime, according to the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information, and it doesn't come cheap.

The average cost of a private room in a California nursing home is $86,870 a year, the site says, and an assisted-living facility will run $37,188 annually. In most cases, Medicare and Medicaid will pick up only a small part of the tab.

The clearinghouse's website, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, details average costs for nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, home health aides and adult day healthcare centers.

The site explains the various types of long-term care, the financing options and how to assess and plan your needs.

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