Some people in New Jersey may plan on relying on savings, home equity or Medicaid resources to pay for a stay in a nursing home in their old age. However, according to recent research, if the cost of senior housing continues to rise at its current trajectory, by 2029 almost 8 million middle-income seniors will not be able to afford an assisted living facility or nursing home. If this happens, it may become more common for seniors to receive in-home care.

The study looked at seniors between 75 and 85 whose financial resources ranged from $25,001 to $74,208, and those age 85 and older whose financial resources ranged from $24,450 to $95,051. The study found that these individuals would not be able to afford senior housing in 2029 but would also not be eligible for Medicaid benefits.

If this happens, we may see a rise in home-based care. One survey reports a stay in a nursing home could cost over $8,000 a month, while non-medical home-based care expenses would cost around $4,000 a month. Some experts believe that multidisciplinary systems of home-based care, where one caregiver assists several individuals at once, will be necessary to ensure people receive the senior care they need.

With this information in mind, long-term care planning becomes even more important. While Medicaid may be an answer for some, for those who do not initially qualify, establishing a special needs trust or other asset protection strategies may be necessary. Long-term care insurance may be another option worth looking into. In the end, a person should not be forced to impoverish themselves just to afford the long-term care they need. Legal strategies exist that can help people stay comfortable in their old age without depleting their hard-earned resources.