Free Debt Analysis

Contact us at (800)-810-0989

A reader wants to know if her husband's theory is accurate or crazy.

2 minute read

Question: My husband and I are lucky enough to have city pensions because he’s been a police officer and I’ve been a secretary in the same department. So unlike most 50-somethings, we’re not worried about retirement.

But I AM worried about growing old and going into a nursing home. We have a grown son, but he’s  struggling to keep a job. My husband says our son will take care of us when we get old, because it won’t be that expensive to do so in a few years. But I think we need to do more. I just don’t know what “more” is. Can you help me?

— Lilly in Texas

Howard Dvorkin CPA answers…

Elsewhere in your letter, which I edited for brevity, you explained your husband’s fascinating theory…

“Since the entire country is growing older and there will be more senior citizens in a couple decades, it’ll become cheaper to get space in nursing homes — because more of them will open up, which will drive prices down. He thinks it’s like supermarkets that can sell food so cheap because they sell so much. The profit on each can of beans is only pennies, but if you sell billions of cans, you’ve made millions of dollars.”

I’m glad your husband is a police officer and not an economist. Needless to say, caring for the elderly is more complicated — and much more expensive — than selling cans of beans.

In fact, Care.com released a clever poll last month that asked Americans in their 40s and 50s how much they think a nursing home will cost when they need one.

More than a quarter said they “think it will cost $45,000 or less per year.” The actual number from trained economists? “It really costs $82,125 to $92,378 per year.”

Care.com did back up one part of your husband’s theory: There will indeed be a record number of elderly in this country. “By 2050, the amount of people over 65 is projected to be 83.7 million, nearly double the rate now,” the company said.

However, caring for more elderly won’t reduce the price because unlike grocery stores, there’s no economy of scale. More elderly requires more nurses and doctors, no matter how efficient they are.

So what can you do? You’re lucky, Lilly. It seems like your retirement savings are already going strong. You now need to save for your own senior care. Check out Care.com’s Senior Care Guide Index or call Debt.com at 800-810-0989 for a free debt analysis.

Have a debt question? Ask our Experts!

Get Answers
Did we provide the information you needed? If not let us know and we’ll improve this page.
Let us know if you liked the post. That’s the only way we can improve.
Yes
No

About the Author

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

I’m a certified public accountant who has authored two books on getting out of debt, Credit Hell and Power Up, and I am one of the personal finance experts for Debt.com. I have focused my professional endeavors in the consumer finance, technology, media and real estate industries creating not only Debt.com, but also Financial Apps and Start Fresh Today, among others. My personal finance advice has been included in countless articles, and has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes and Entrepreneur as well as virtually every national and local newspaper in the country. Everyone should have a reason for living that’s bigger than themselves, and besides my family, mine is this: Teaching Americans how to live happily within their means. To me, money is not the root of all evil. Poor money management is. Money cannot buy happiness, but going into debt always buys misery. That’s why I launched Debt.com. I’m glad you’re here.

Published by Debt.com, LLC