Knowing how much something will cost is important for making informed decisions of all kinds. For example, before purchasing a car or taking out a mortgage, people in Florida should understand both the monthly and long-term costs. Anticipating future costs becomes a little less clear when dealing with long-term care, but here are a few things individuals can do to make the process more transparent and easier.

The actual cost of long-term care after retirement will vary for each individual, but there are a few generalities that might prove helpful. The length of time during which a woman will need long term-care is, on average, 3.7 years. The average is 2.2 years for men. A significant number of these men and women will receive help with things like eating, bathing and dressing from their children or spouses, who perform unpaid labor.

However, a significant number of people still need the specialized support of nursing homes. Approximately 33% of retirees over the age of 65 will have to spend time in nursing homes, which can run upwards of $100,000 per year. This only paints a partial picture of long-term care and its associated costs. Not only will more than half of people aged 65 and older end up with long-term care costs, but 15% of these individuals will end up with more than $250,000.

So how can a Florida resident plan for a seemingly unpredictable future? Estate planning is a good place to start looking at long-term care costs. Getting long-term care insurance coverage or building a contingency reserve can be smart ways to plan for late-in-life care. However, since each person is unique and needs can vary, an experienced estate planning may be able to explain other options as well.

William A. Johnson, P.A., is located in Melbourne, Florida. We serve clients throughout Brevard County.