Will dementia swamp the system, drain our savings?

Think our parents have retirement under control?
Seems an exploding cost may be waiting for them - and us.

My mother developed Alzheimer's and for six years lived in progressively more expensive retirement and nursing homes. Long before the end, she couldn't recognize us or experience more than a tiny fraction of her great humanity.

Healthcare costs of Alzheimer's risingToday we learn from the Rand Corporation that the number of people with dementia will more than double over the next 30 years.

"The estimated prevalence of dementia among persons older than 70 years of age in the US in 2010 was 14.7%. The yearly cost per person that was attributable to dementia was [from] $56,290 to $52,362, depending on the method used to value informal care. These individual costs suggest the total cost in 2010 was between $157 billion and $215 billion. Medicare paid approximately $11 billion of this cost."

Right, Medicare covers less than 7% of the cost!

Who pays the rest? It's scraped from family savings and children's incomes. Where there's no money for care, some family members put their lives on hold to look after the older relative at home.

One big conclusion here: save more today to avoid draining tens of thousands of dollars or multiple years from our children's and grandchildren's lives tomorrow.

A second: think about where to retire. The same quality of medical care costs much less in one place than another. So arranging (early) for the Alzheimer's patient to live where medical costs are low could save lots. To start researching this, you can check our free Where-To-Live Reports for the general cost of healthcare in towns all across the US.

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