Where You Live Matters: Counting the Cost of Long-Term Care

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It probably comes as no surprise that the cost of long-term care services — including nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and home-based care — continues to rise steadily across the country.

Among the various services tracked by Genworth’s annual Cost of Care Survey, home-based care costs are rising at a slower pace than other forms of care. Specifically, Genworth’s most recent report found that, on a national basis, home-based care rose just 1% to 1.5% over the last five years, while costs at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have increased 2.5% to 4% over the same five-year period. ¹

Long-term care costs vary widely nationwide. Genworth’s annual Cost of Care Survey tracks the costs of nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and home-based care across the country. Genworth also tracks long-term care cost data on a regional and state-by-state basis. For planning purposes — either your own or for an aging parent or other loved one — this is vital information to know and discuss with your financial professional when forecasting retirement income scenarios.

Following are the 10 most expensive states for a private room in a nursing home — the top-of-the-line care tracked by the annual study — and the most expensive mode of care available today. Along with the median annual cost for each state is the comparable median annual cost for home health aide services.

Top 10 States for Cost²

StateMedian Annual Nursing Home Cost (private room)Median Annual Home Health Aide Cost
Alaska$281,415$59,488
Connecticut$158,775$50,336
Massachusetts$139,580$57,200
New York$136,437$52,624
Hawaii$135,050$56,056
New Jersey$127,750$48,506
New Hampshire$122,275$54,912
Delaware$117,895$50,336
Pennsylvania$113,150$47,911
Maryland$110,230$45,760
National Median Cost$91,250$45,760


It may surprise you that California is not among the top ten most expensive states. California’s median annual rate for a private room in a nursing home is $104,025. Review the Genworth 2015 Cost of Care website (https://www.genworth.com/dam/Americas/US/PDFs/Consumer/corporate/130568_040115_gnw.pdf) to find cost information for all types of long-term care services in California.

While the impact of long-term care can be staggering on one’s finances, it can also take a significant toll on families and careers. To learn more about strategies for coping with this potential need, speak with your Certified Financial Planner™.

¹ Financial Planning, “LTC: 10 Most Expensive States for Nursing Homes,” April 27, 2015.

² Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey, March 20, 2015.

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