Long-Term Care: Resources for U.S. Veterans

October 31, 2011

When you are planning for your retirement you're probably envisioning beach scenes, leisure activities, unrestricted travel and a lot of rest and relaxation. To be prepared it is wise to budget for all the eventualities of aging. One of the things to take into consideration is the possibility of paying for long-term care.
Everyone is aware of the fact that some people eventually reside in nursing homes or assisted living communities, but there are those who take the attitude that this is something that happens to other people. There's nothing wrong with being optimistic, and some individuals who feel this way have taken good care of themselves. However, the statistics regarding just how many people do ultimately need this level of care is alarming. The United States Department of Health and Human Services tells us that no less than 70% of people who reach the age of 65 are going to need long-term care of some kind.
The USDHHS goes on to say that the average length of stay for a woman is 3.7 years, and for a man it is 2.2 years. The national average cost for a year in a private room in a nursing home in 2010 was around $83,500 and annual assisted-living community costs neared $40,000 on average.
Many will need assistance to address these costs. With this in mind, wartime veterans would do well to be aware of an often overlooked benefit called the Veterans Aid and Attendance special pension. Single veterans who need assistance with their day-to-day living needs can be eligible to receive as much as $1632 per month. You only need to have served for 90 days with at least one of them taking place during wartime to meet the length of service eligibility requirement. This benefit is something to explore if you have served in the armed forces and find yourself in need of long-term care at some point in time. You can do so by getting in touch with the United States Veterans Benefits Administration.

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