“Will I need to pay for long term care in my lifetime?”

“Will I need to pay for long term care in my lifetime?”

"Will I need to pay for long term care in my lifetime?"This is a good question, especially when we’re planning for the future.

Let’s break this down into a few different thoughts.

“How bad is the cost of long-term care?”

One question that we’re often asked is, “How bad is it if you need long term care? How much money are we talking about?”

The average price in Alabama – and  of course, this can be less and it can certainly be a lot more – is $6,000 a month.

That’s a number that for most of us, it’s hard to grasp the idea of literally writing out a check for $6,000 a month for month after month after month.

To make it more understandable, $6,000 is your monthly payment, principal and interest, on $1.1 million home.

Sometimes people will say, “You know what? If my mom needs to go to a nursing home, I’ll just pay for it.”


That’s fine if you can do it.

But if we ask that person, “Would you buy your mom a $1.1 million house,” they’ll say, “No. I can’t afford that. That’s crazy!”

That’s what we’re looking at here in terms of the price and why it’s so important to figure out how we pay for long-term care.

“But we won’t ever need a nursing home!”

Oftentimes the next response “We’re not ever going to need a nursing home.”

Here’s what I want to point out.

When I woke up this morning, I did not say, “Yes! I get to go to a nursing home today or I really hope I get into a nursing home.”

Nobody wakes up and says that.

I’m sure there are some families that are eager to put their relatives in nursing home, but 99.9% of families don’t want their loved ones be in a nursing home.

Despite the fact that nobody wants to go to a nursing home and no family wants their loved one to go to a nursing home – when you walk in a nursing home, you’re going down the hall, you look to your left and you see the lady in bed, she didn’t want to be there.

Her family did not want her to be there.

You walk a little further and you look to your right.

You see that man sitting in a chair.

He didn’t want to be there.

His family did not want him to be there.

But yet, here they are.

The nursing home is full of people who did not want to be there.

I certainly understand all of us saying, “I don’t ever want to get to a nursing home.”

That’s great – but it’s still a possibility.

“What are the odds of needing a nursing home?”

Usually people say, “Give me the odds. What are the odds that my mother is going to need a nursing home or my father will need a nursing home.”

I thought about putting some statistics up, but then I was reminded of this Mark Twain quote: “Figures never lie, but liars figure.”

The point of that is to tell us to be cautious about statistics because they can sometimes be manipulated either intentionally or even unintentionally.

There are statistics that say it’s a 10% chance that you will need long-term care in a nursing home.

Other figures say 50%. Part of that is explained by what we mean.

Do we mean one day in the nursing home?

Do we mean three weeks, three months, three years?

There’s a lot of variation there.

The point is there’s some chance of it being there.

If you never need it and your parents never need it, then that’s wonderful.

You’ve been very blessed.

But if you do need it, you’ve got to figure out how to pay for it.

Take driving.

I’m 42 years old, so I’ve been driving for 26 years.

I think I’ve been in one wreck where there was really any damage to a vehicle, and a couple of times bumped in a parking lot.

But I wear my seatbelt every single time I drive.

Now the odds are, if you look at 26 years and maybe one or two wrecks, I don’t need to wear my seatbelt. But I know the consequences if I’m in a wreck and I’m not wearing my seatbelt.

It’s the same thing with health insurance.

Unless I’m forgetting it, I don’t think I’ve had a surgery since I was about ten years old.

But I still have health insurance because if I needed some major surgery or had some significant disease, then I want my health insurance.

It’s the same thing with life insurance.

I’ve been paying lots of money for a life insurance and disability insurance and I have never used any of that.

It’s kind of obvious I haven’t used my life insurance, but I’ve never used my disability insurance either.

The reason I have it is because if I need it, I need to be prepared.

That’s why we’re looking at this.

Regardless of whether the odd are 10% or 50% or whatever they are, there is some chance.

One way to see this is look around at your family, look at your friends, and see how many people have needed long-term care.

That will give you at least some idea.

Contact Us.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us.

You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447.

Or, if you prefer, you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you.

We will be glad to help you figure out the est course of action.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-John G. Watts

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