Weekend Reading: A Woman's Guide to Long-Term Care

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading LTC women Weekend reading LTC women
Weekend Reading

We're riding the wave of a longevity revolution, and for women, it means potentially facing some unique challenges in retirement.


Ladies, listen up: On average, women are living around seven years longer than men. This not only means females require more retirement income, but also increases the odds of needing long-term care. According to a 2004 AARP study, over 70 percent of nursing home residents were women. While the stats alone show how imperative long-term care planning is – ladies, here are some additional aspects you most certainly want to consider:

📌Ability to pay: The average monthly cost of a private room in a nursing home facility is $8,821. Add that up over the course of a few years and the number can skyrocket.

📌Medicare and Medicaid: Navigating these government programs can be complicated, which is why working with a trusted professional is key. One program might cover one thing, while the other might not.

📌Run the projections: What happens if one spouse passes early? What if the other lives past 100? Going through what-if scenarios in your retirement plan will help ensure you’re prepared.

📌Analyze your options: For women who have a high retirement success rate with long-term care costs included, self-insuring through a designated long-term care investment account is an option. For women with a modest degree of retirement success, a combination of self-insuring and purchasing a policy might be wise. It all depends on your unique situation.

📌Other planning implications: Consider when to draw Social Security benefits and how it might help long-term care costs – and – ensure you have an appointed Power of Attorney who can coordinate long-term care on your behalf if needed.

Get to planning: There’s a myriad of ways to solve for your long-term care risks. Don’t just put your head in the sand. You might be able to do more than you think.