In the last month two reports came out that should be of concern to seniors and their families. Just this past week the Federal Reserve released their economic projections through 2009 anticipating Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the U.S. may contract by as much as a full percentage point. We are watching what the Secretary of the Treasury recently described as a “once in a Century” tumult in the U.S. economy. The impact on unemployment could be alarming with the unemployment rate of 4.5% last year jumping to 7.6% next year which would be the highest levels in two decades.
In October, the annual MetLife Mature Markets study was released and it highlighted the continuing increase in the costs of senior housing and care. The national average cost of staying in a semi-private room in a nursing home grew from $189 per day / $68,985 annually in 2007 to $191 per day / $69,715 annually in 2008. The national average cost of living in an assisted living facility grew from $2,969 per month / $35,628 annually in 2007 to $3,031 per month / $36,372 annually in 2008.
When you combine the impact of an economy in a true crisis that will take at least a couple of years to sort out, and the cost impact of living in a nursing home or assisted living community; it starts to become obvious why families must do all they can to inform themselves of all their financial options. Our best advice to the people we speak with– don’t wait until you are in a crisis to start planning for the future. Start now!