By Juliette Fairley
When financial advisor Andy Szkaradek consults with retiring clients who are over 60 years old, the challenge lies in estimating the future cost of home health care, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
"If you don't know what the costs are, it's tough to plan for them," said Szkaradek, owner and president of Strategic Wealth Solutions in Coral Springs, Fla.
Two-thirds of those aged 65 and over will need long-term care in their lifetimes, according to a 2012 study by Genworth Financial, an insurance holding company headquartered in Virginia, which recently launched a caregiving support service called AARP Caregiving Help and Advice From Genworth in alliance with American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
"There's no one great resource. I go on the Internet, find different costs for assisted living, nursing homes and home health agencies and calculate an estimate using an average," said Szkaradek, who includes 6% to 7% for inflation.
According to Genworth's 2011 cost of care survey, the national median monthly rate for a single occupancy room in an assisted living facility is $3,261 compared to $193 a day for a semi-private room and $213 a day for a single-occupancy room in a nursing home. The national median rate for home health care ranges from $18 to $19 an hour for home health aide services to $60 a day for adult day health care in a community setting.
Genworth's subscription based website costs $12.99 for six months.
"Our product saves people time and effort," said Jowynna Michel, operations leader for Genworth's caregiving division in Boston.
The Atlanta Capital Group relies on industry studies and national data issued by the AARP and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors to determine cost of care, but the data doesn't include forecasting.
"Projections would be nice to have because most people underestimate the cost of care," said Jody Young, senior managing partner with Atlanta Capital Group in Atlanta. "Without accurate cost analysis and adequate funding in place seniors could find themselves in subpar, substandard facilities or their children saddled with elder care."
AARP Caregiving Help and Advice From Genworth (www.Genworth.com/caregiving) is a long-term database that helps people plan for long-term care by predicting cost of care by zip code over the span of ten to 20 years based on an individual's particular illness.