Tactics to Make Long-Term-Care Coverage Affordable

You may not need a pricey, fully loaded policy.

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No matter how carefully you plan for retirement, if you don't have long-term-care insurance, a catastrophic illness could wipe out your savings. The average private room in a nursing home costs $250 per day -- or $91,250 per year -- according to Genworth's 2015 Cost of Care study. The median cost of assisted living is now $43,200 a year, and the cost of hiring a home-care worker is $20 per hour, or more than $41,000 per year for a 40-hour week. (The average length of care is about three years.) Medicare provides little coverage for long-term care, and Medicaid kicks in only after you’ve spent almost all of your money.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.