The Rising Cost of Long-Term Care

You'll pay a steep price for assisted living, a nursing home or a home health aide. That's why insurance is essential.

If I end up needing long-term care, how much would it cost?

It depends on what type of care you need and where you live. On average, the daily cost of a private room in a nursing home is now $219, which adds up to nearly $80,000 per year, according to a new study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute. A private room in an assisted-living facility now averages $3,131 per month. And home health aides charge $21 per hour, on average.

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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.