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Long-term care an expensive proposition

A solid retirement plan can be completely derailed by health problems requiring long-term care.

Without a long-term care policy, an average stay at a nursing home or intensive nursing treatment can devastate retirement income.

"If you're 65, you have about a 50-50 chance of entering a nursing home at some point," said Bob Moos, Southwest public affairs officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. "The average cost of a private room (in a nursing home) now exceeds $75,000 per year and the average stay is almost 2  years. That adds up to more than $185,000."

Brandan Wolverton, managing director of Wells Fargo Advisors in Lawton, knows first hand what it costs for care that lasted 10 years, not 2.

"My mother-in-law died of Alzheimer's and they fortunately had a long-term care policy in place. Which was a blessing because if we had not had that it could have devastated the family finances," he said. With the rise in the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, long-term care costs are skyrocketing for many families.

The Lawton Constitution

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