The phrase "long term care" refers to the services that a person with a chronic illness or disability (typically due to age) may need on a daily basis over an extended period of time. It's designed to help the person perform everyday activities that they may not be able to do on their own anymore.

Long term care is not an unusual subject for millennials. In fact, a study conducted by AARP reported that of the current estimated 40 million caregivers in the US, 1 in 4 are millennials. Maybe this is why more and more are expressing their concerns over the future of long term care.


The six common everyday activities addressed by long term care include the independent ability to perform the following tasks:

  • Eating
  • Getting Dressed
  • Walking or transferring
  • Bathing
  • Toileting
  • Continence

Long term care insurance policies are designed to cover the costs of the expenses that occur from long term care needs. It is not limited to just medical expenses. In most instances, the benefits are triggered by the inability to perform at least two to three of the everyday activities. Once the benefits kick in, they can cover the following:

  • Nursing homes
  • Assisted living
  • Adult daycare services
  • Home care (grooming, bathing, cleaning)
  • Home modification (Ramps, grab bars)

There are a slew of options and ways to customize long term care policies, so the cost depends on the age at which you take the policy out, your current health, the length of time you want your coverage to last, the elimination period (number of days you choose to be disabled before benefits kick in) so there is much you should consider when choosing your distinct policy's terms. Before purchasing any policy, here are some things to consider:

  1. How much will I need? Sadly, we aren't fortune tellers, so it's hard to say whether or not you will need a policy that will cover you for a longer or shorter duration of time, but it may be smart to look into your family health history if you can.
  2. How do you think you will receive possible long term care? If you don't plan on ever having children, long term care insurance may be vital for you. On the other hand, someone who hopes that their children will care for them may not want to purchase as much coverage if they believe they will get care from a family member.
  3. How much money do you plan on having later in life? Again, another silly sounding question. We all want to be millionaires in retirement. Depending on what type of career you hold, or plan on having, you may not need long term care if you plan on being in the pool of the wealthiest Americans.

Genworth has a great tool you can use to see an estimate of what you would pay for long term care insurance. However, the youngest age available on this handy calculator is forty. This is most likely because most Americans don't purchase long term care insurance before that age, although it is possible to get it beforehand.

Even though long term care insurance premiums are lower the younger you purchase it, it really isn't necessary to purchase much before the age of forty, so buying it too early can unnecessarily cost you more. You also shouldn't wait too long if you do decide to purchase a policy. According to the Genworth premium calculator, the same policy that would cost a forty year old $341 annually would cost a fifty year old $491 and a sixty year old $627!

It's also important to keep in mind that employer health insurance does not cover long term care needs, and Medicare insurance will only cover nursing home stays up to 100 days. That's with a daily copayment of $164.50 after the 20th day. Medicare's home care services are also very limited in what they will cover. According to the study conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center of Public Affairs research, only 1 in 10 of those aged 18-39 are confident that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will maintain their level of benefits when it comes time for them to need these programs.

Just looking at the current national median monthly out of pocket costs of long term care is enough to scare anyone. The current monthly costs are immense, but looking at the forecasted costs in 50 years is enough to make me hope for a quick and young death (kidding, obviously)!

national average long term care costs


As many millennials have other financial priorities to worry about, you should be financially well off before considering any long term care insurance. Check in with a trusted financial advisor and discuss your needs and options with them first.

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Between buying a new home and transporting yourself and your belongings to it, moving can be an expensive process. One often underrecognized cost of moving occurs before one's original house has even been sold, and that's staging the house. Homeowners often spend hundreds of dollars making a home appealing to potential buyers. To ease the financial burden of moving, here are several tips for staging your home on a budget.

Downsize Instead of Storing

The goal of staging a home is to create a blank canvas that potential buyers can imagine their own lives painted upon. To accomplish this, homeowners should depersonalize the home as much as possible, removing items that are specific to their family and eliminating clutter. This is where homeowners often incur their first costs as they rush to put as many older things in storage as possible.

To cut costs, focus on downsizing rather than storing items. Look for items that you can sell, donate, or give away. For remaining items, look for alternative places to store them, such as a friend or relative's house. This will also reduce the cost of moving your belongings when it is time to go to the new house.

DIY What You Can

There are times when homeowners should bring in a professional to manage home renovations and decorating, such as when a task requires specialized skills. These types of jobs, when done incorrectly, will incur even greater costs if attempted on your own. However, many of the home improvement tasks that go into staging a home are simple enough that the homeowner can DIY them, such as painting, installing a backsplash, or refinishing the deck. Doing these tasks yourself will save you a significant amount of money.

Don't Redo, Update

Homeowners are often eager to make their houses look as appealing to buyers as possible. However, recall that the point of staging is depersonalization, making a home presentable so buyers can mentally impose their own style onto it. When staging a home on a budget, focus less on completely transforming the space and more on making what is there look presentable. For instance, if you wanted to give your bedroom a facelift, trying to replace the furniture and flooring would be pointless unless it was damaged or unkempt. Simply organizing the space and replacing the bed's comforter would be sufficient.

Maximize Space

Another way to update the space without entirely redoing it is to rearrange it to maximize the space that is already there. For instance, pulling the furniture away from the walls will make a room appear bigger and allows more space for those touring the house. Using window trimmings that maximize natural light and incorporating wall mirrors can also make a room seem more spacious.

Raising a larger family than most means that your lifestyle is going to change. Costs will continue to multiply as your family grows larger. However, just because your family is large doesn't mean your quality of life needs to suffer. It just means you need to make a few adjustments to help things work smoother and more efficiently. We've compiled a couple of money-saving tips for larger families to help you get the most out of your dollars.

Always Buy in Bulk

The benefit of having a larger family is that things you buy in bulk rarely ever go to waste. Smaller families can benefit from buying in bulk, of course, but your large family will see the most use out of shopping in large quantities. You'll want to avoid going to smaller stores for necessities such as groceries and clothes, as these places generally have higher markups on their items.

Buy Wholesale Items Online

If you want to take buying in bulk to the next level, one of the best money-saving tips for large families is to buy online from wholesalers. Buying online comes with a number of benefits that you won't get when you go to a physical store:

  • You don't have to drag your kids to the store with you
  • You have a lower probability of making impulse purchases
  • You can search for exactly what you need
  • Wholesalers sell in very large quantities for a lower price per item

Never Throw Away Something Useful

When you have to buy things for multiple children, your costs to replace items will be much higher. That's why it's so important to keep everything you can. Clothing is a big part of this. Hand-me-downs can prevent you from needing to replace entire closets every year. Try to repair or upcycle any clothes that may have damage, as this is usually much cheaper than buying brand-new items.

Stick to a Budget

When you support a large family, expenses can sometimes get away from you. Proper budgeting helps to keep the extra purchases that add up to a minimum. Budgeting correctly can save you a lot of heartache in the long run. It's up to you how much control you want to take; you can make your budget weekly or monthly, depending on how tight a ship you need to run. What's important to remember is that making the budget is only the first step—sticking to it is where you'll really need to enact some willpower.

Spring may be the most popular time to list, but people need to buy homes in every season. Follow some simple steps to get your home sold in the winter.

Sometimes there is no choice—a home needs to be sold in the winter.

Spring may be the most popular time to put your house on the market, but homes do sell in the colder months. With fewer houses available, your home may be someone's only choice when house hunting in your neighborhood. As your neighbors hold out until spring, you'll already be done and ready to shop for your next house!

Here are a few tips for selling a home in the winter to get you on the right track.

Keep Paths Safe and Landscaping Fresh

Landscaping is the last thing on a homeowner's mind in the winter. Everything was cut back in the fall and may now be covered in snow. Still, take a walk around the house and yard to check everything out. Branches may have fallen from heavy snow, leaving a mess in the yard. Keep everything neat and tidy.

The last thing you need is a potential buyer slipping on the ice-covered walk in front of your house. Buyers often consider those moments bad omens, and this can affect their decisions. Shovel, snow blow, spread salt—do whatever you have to do to keep the driveway and walking paths clear, and don't forget the porch and deck.

Make the Inside Warm and Cozy

In cold weather, buyers won't spend a lot of time examining a home's exterior. Instead, impress them with the inside by creating an atmosphere which causes them to want to move in.

When there's time, leave wintery types of snacks and drinks, such as hot cocoa and cookies, available on a table during showings. This gives your home a welcoming feel to buyers.

Light the fireplace (if you have one) for a lovely ambience and set your thermostat to a comfortable setting. A warm home in the winter is much more appealing than a chilly one.

Make Your Home Less Personal

Understandably, this can be a tough thought for homeowners. After all, you've spent years creating memories in your home. To buyers, though, they need to picture it as their own. Too much personality makes that difficult.

It's always important to stage your home in a way that makes it look clean, comfortable, and move-in ready. Don't feel offended by the idea of taking family pictures down and replacing them with generic décor. This will help your home sell faster by helping buyers envision their own things there.

Cleanliness and Maintenance

Clean, clean, and clean some more. Make appliances, counters, and floors shine. No matter how old your home is, it needs to feel like new to potential buyers. If you aren't into dusting, now is the time to try. Don't forget window coverings that might need washing.

Be prepared ahead of time for home inspections by taking care of maintenance now. HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical should all be up to code and running smoothly.

Use these tips for selling a home in the winter, exercise patience during the slower months, and your home will sell before you know it.