Now that the baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age, long-term care is becoming a reality for more and more people. Some estimates say that as many as 70 percent of boomers will need long-term care at some point during their lives. Nursing care can run as much as $7,000 to $8,000 per month, and Medicare does not cover such costs.

Since planning for long-term care can be emotionally draining, however, many people simply choose to avoid it. Experts say that these procrastinators could be placing themselves and their families in financial jeopardy. This is because health care costs continue to rise, and that trend is expected to continue in the future.

In the past, many individuals requiring long-term care depended on their children for support. Others relied on Medicaid. However, Medicaid only covers individuals who are financially destitute. Additionally, the Medicaid look-back period in most states is now at five years to recover transferred assets. This is why many retirees rely on savings or long-term care insurance. However, insurance is pricey, and premiums may increase over time.

While long-term care has always been part of the financial planning process, developing a sound plan has never been more important than it is today. However, these plans require action. Although family members can and should do a good deal of research on their own, the preparation of a sound plan requires a thorough knowledge of elder law. Because of this, anyone interested in developing a long-term care plan might want to contact an attorney with experience in elder law.