Long-term care costs in the United States are so high that in theory, every retiree should be a multimillionaire when entering retirement. With the costs of long-term care services skyrocketing over the years, retirees have become a source of sustainable wealth for much of the medical industry.
Phil Cannella’s idea of retirement is one where all the financial headaches are behind you, leaving you free to focus on the sweeter things in life. Although retirees should remain hopeful that they will never become fully dependent on long-term care services, it’s important to be prepared in case these services do become necessary. According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), about 70 percent of people aged 65 and older will need some type of long-term care service. Once the bills start coming in for these services, retirees will quickly realize this long-term option realistically is affordable only in the short term.
In a market survey taken by CareScout, the median cost for living in a semi-private nursing facility in Pennsylvania is $91,652 for 2012, and fully private nursing facilities are even more expensive. Other common long-term care services, like assisted living or adult day care, can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars annually. These costs don’t even consider the countless other expenses one faces in retired years, such as medical and leisure expenses.
If these costs were merely to stay the same—when in reality they’re more likely to go up—someone dependent on these services would need to have close to half a million dollars just to make it through five years at a nursing facility. In that context, proper retirement preparation can seem nearly impossible.
And don’t expect Medicare to have your back. Medicare is designed to only cover such costs for 100 days. After 100 days of coverage, much of the financial burden falls on you. Even to qualify for Medicare service coverage one must meet certain conditions, and the services must be considered medically necessary. Long-term care insurance is available, but this insurance is also very costly and difficult to choose.
As one of many Phil Cannella complaints about the victimization of retirees, he lobbies for more affordable and realistic long term care services.
“It breaks my heart to think there are people out there living in unsatisfactory conditions because the outrageous costs of long term care is not within reach for them,” says Phil Cannella. “No one should have to work hard their entire life just to be left on their own in times of need, when they can no longer adequately care for themselves.”
Phil Cannella often says the American retiree has no voice. With no outlet to voice their troubles, retirees do not make the list of top priorities for our country’s concerns. “It is time we start considering how we are treating those who have worked to build our country over the last generation,” says Cannella.
FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM PHIL CANNELLA, TUNE IN TO THE CPR SHOW, EVERY SATURDAY 11AM-1PM. LISTEN LIVE