Are you unsure exactly how much long-term care planning you need to do? Maybe you think it’s not that expensive or that you’ll easily just pay for it out of pocket.

Some people can, but financial experts warn that those people tend to be millionaires. After all, the medical cost for a private room in a nursing home is $97,455 per year.

So, if you’ve saved up $500,000 for retirement, you may feel like you’re all set. However, that would really only buy you a little over five years at the current rate. Remember, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services claims that a full 70 percent of people who are 65 years old and older will have long-term care needs. This is very common, very predictable and very expensive.

That’s problematic for those who have significant assets but who are still not millionaires. Those with nothing may get assistance from Medicaid, while the rich can just cover the costs on their own, but most people fall into this dangerous middle ground. They don’t have enough to pay for everything, but they have enough that their funds will be run dry in a hurry if they do not plan in advance.

The above isn’t meant to make you nervous, but just to expose the reality that a lot of people miss. Take stock of your financial situation. Consider exactly where you stand and what health issues you anticipate. Are you really prepared for what lies ahead? It’s critical to know all of the right legal steps to take so that you’re prepared well in advance.

Source: Kiplinger, “The Impossible Reality of Long-Term Care Planning,” Evan T. Beach, Jan. 2, 2018