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How to Estimate Long Term Care Costs to Make Care Decisions Easier

Estimating long term care costs helps you make informed care decisions

Cost is a major factor in long term care decisions

Paying for senior care is a major source of stress for family caregivers, often because costs can spring up suddenly.

As your older adult needs more and more help, you’ll probably need to choose between different long term care options, like hiring in-home care vs moving to assisted living or moving from one city to another.

A key part of those decisions will be based on how much their care will cost. Get a head start and avoid unpleasant surprises by estimating future costs now.

To make it easier, we found a quick, easy, and free online tool that calculates and compares the costs of long term care options.

We explain how to use it and how to estimate and compare costs into the future and across different cities.


Free online tool estimates and compares long term care costs

Genworth created an online tool that compares costs for long term care options. It’s completely free to use and doesn’t require any sign-up.

The estimated numbers help you get a ballpark idea – they won’t be exactly the same as specific facilities or services in your older adult’s area.

These estimates help you narrow down the options to those that will be the most reasonable for your older adult’s financial situation.

Estimating and planning ahead also gives you time to explore different ways to pay for care or get help from an elder law attorney for things like a Medicaid spend down strategy.

How to use the tool to estimate long term care costs

To give you a basic idea of long term care costs, the 2021 national median (average) monthly costs for in-home care, assisted living, and nursing homes are shown below the tool.

Genworth’s online long term care cost estimator tool and national monthly average costs

To estimate costs for your older adult’s state:

  1. Click here to get to Genworth’s online tool

  2. Enter and select a City, State, or Zip Code (upper left) or click a state on the interactive U.S. map (upper right)

  3. Choose the time period for the costs: hourly, daily, monthly, or annual

If you want to get an idea of what the costs will be like in the future, use the Calculate Future Cost slider bar.

To compare costs between different cities or states, choose the “Compare Location” link in the upper middle area to add another location.

You can also adjust the number of in-home care hours per week by clicking on the Plus sign below the cost estimator tool labeled “Change weekly In-Home Care hours.”

Here, we show some examples:

Average monthly long term care costs in Texas

Comparing 2021 and 2026 costs in New York

Comparing 2021 costs in California and Florida

Use estimates to make realistic plans for the future

To plan for your older adult’s future, it helps to ask some key questions:

  1. How is their overall health?

  2. Will they be living with or near someone who can provide some care? Or will they need full- or part-time hired caregiving help?

  3. Do they enjoy socializing with others their age? Or would they prefer to stay at home and see mostly family?

  4. What types of care work best with their needs and budget?

Answering those questions will help you figure out if in-home care or adult day programs will work or if assisted living or a nursing home would be better options.

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By DailyCaring Editorial Team

This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.


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