Long-term care costs in the United States are staggering. The national average cost for an assisted living facility or home health care is $4,000/month, and the average cost for nursing home care is $8,000/month. These costs do not include skilled medical care or prescription drugs. Over half of retirees will need some form of long-term care during their lifetime. Currently, around 1.4 million Americans are in nursing homes. The average stay in a nursing home is over two years, and the majority of nursing home residents are female.
Since the median net worth of a retiree's household in the United States is around $200,000, most Americans entering a nursing home will lose all of their assets during their nursing home stay. This is considered standard and is referred to in the industry as the spend-down period.