When it comes to planning a stable financial and retirement plan, one critical factor often gets overlooked until it’s too late: the cost of long-term care. Many of us wonder whether we can afford to self-insure for such care if needed, and how this decision could impact not just ourselves, but our families—spouses, children, and anyone else who might depend on us.

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Founder of Falbo Wealth Management, I’ve dedicated the past decade to helping clients navigate these very issues. Today, I want to explore the basics of long-term care—what it entails, its costs, and the insurance options available to you.

What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care refers to a range of services and supports one might need to meet personal care needs over an extended period. This type of care is not just for the elderly; anyone at any age might need long-term care following an accident, illness, or chronic condition that limits their ability to perform everyday activities.

Medicare, contrary to what many believe, does not cover long-term custodial care, which includes assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, and moving around. These services can become necessary suddenly or gradually as one ages, and they can be provided at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home, depending on the individual’s needs.

The Costs of Long-Term Care

The cost of long-term care can vary significantly based on location and the type of care required. For example, the median annual cost for a private room in a nursing home was approximately $118,400 in recent years, with projections suggesting it could rise to over $255,000 by 2050, assuming a 3% annual inflation rate. Assisted living facilities average around $54,000 per year, and home health aides charge about $27 per hour. These costs can quickly deplete retirement savings, especially if care extends over several years. [1, 2]

Insurance Options for Long-Term Care

Deciding whether to purchase long-term care insurance involves evaluating your personal risk and financial situation. Traditional long-term care insurance policies function like many other types of insurance, where you pay a yearly premium in exchange for financial support should you need long-term care. These policies can be tailored with various features like daily benefit amounts, inflation protection, and elimination periods.

However, these traditional policies have downsides, such as potentially wasted premiums if care is never needed and the possibility of premium increases over time. To address these concerns, hybrid policies combining life insurance with long-term care benefits have become popular. These policies provide a death benefit if care is not needed and long-term care coverage if it is, offering a more flexible solution.

Planning Ahead with a Professional Retirement Advisor

Throughout my career, I’ve seen firsthand the challenges and emotional strains that long-term care can place on families. Both of my grandfathers required long-term care for different reasons—one due to physical limitations and the other due to dementia. These experiences not only impacted our family dynamics but also brought to light the substantial financial stress such situations can create.

It’s crucial for everyone to have a long-term care plan in place, whether it’s relying on personal savings, investing in long-term care insurance, or a combination of both. As your financial advisor, we can help you project potential future scenarios, including the impact of long-term care costs on your financial well-being. We explore various strategies such as adjusting investment approaches, modifying lifestyle spending, or considering insurance solutions to pursue a stable and confident future.


Long-term care planning is an essential aspect of retirement planning that should not be overlooked. By understanding the potential costs and exploring insurance options, you can make informed decisions that help protect your and your family’s future. Remember, the goal is to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best, so you have the confidence to enjoy your golden years.


At Falbo Wealth Management, we are dedicated to helping you plan a financially stable and fulfilling retirement. Let’s discuss how we can support you and your family as you prepare for this next (and potentially best) stage of life. Schedule your phone or in-person meeting with me today to see if our planning services could be the right fit for you.

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The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


  1. https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care
  2. https://www.morningstar.com/personal-finance/100-must-know-statistics-about-long-term-care-2023-edition