New Tool to Compare Long Term Care Costs

Genworth Financial's annual survey of long term care costs includes useful comparative tools.

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Each year, MetLife and Genworth Financial issue extensive surveys of long term care costs, supporting each franchise's substantial long term care insurance business. The predictable results: long term care continues to get more expensive. This, of course, has scary implications about how we will pay for in-home care providers and the extended stays in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities that are part of our demographic destiny as the nation's longest-living generation.

MetLife has two studies, both issued last fall, that cover nursing homes and assisted living costs and adult day services and home care costs. Genworth's inclusive 2009 study of these costs was released at the end of April. These studies are well worth your time if you're wrestling with long term care decisions.

Genworth also has provided a valuable service by making an interactive version of its survey available. By using this tool, you can compare up to four urban areas at a time. The tool generates side-by-side comparisons that are easy to understand. It also provides a predictive guide to future costs. Using the results of current and past-year surveys, Genworth has developed trends to predict what care costs will be like in 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. Small differences among two cities can grow very large after 20 years.